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Captain J's International Buffet in Raleigh, NC

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Forget about the lousy Mexican/Chinese buffet! They have recently started offering authentic almost down to home real Chinese food.

Miss the XLB from Asian Grill? Miss no more!

 
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  1. This restaurant has to take the "Most Incongruous" Award for all time. The restaurant is located on Capital Blvd. just above the 401 split. The buffet tables are just what you'd expect from a place that bills itself as Mexican/Chinese and they look pretty damn sorry (although the made to order tacos smelled very good). This is not why you're there. When you're greeted, tell the young Chinese man at the counter that you'd like the traditional Chinese menu and watch his eyes light up with joy.

    You will receive the two sided sheet of paper below and you order as if it were a sushi menu. According to the waiter, the XLB and Tea Leaf Smoked Duck are the most popular dishes with Chinese customer. Get this - they make the XLB to order. You can walk to the back of the buffet and watch the chef roll out the dough, fill, and steam them on the spot. Only the pork XLB are offered. They are juicy, drippy, and delicious. The Offspring thought they had too much ginger in them but the Spouse and I were very happy.

    The Shanghai noodles are also made by hand in house. I wouldn't have minded a little more bite to the noodles and they don't quite have the same wok breath that the noodles at Asian Grill had, but they're still a winner.

    We also ordered the Salt & Pepper Short Ribs and the Seaweed with Garlic Sauce. The ribs were actually pork, not beef as I expected. They were well cooked and nicely presented, covered with heaps of garlic, scallion, and bell pepper. The seaweed wasn't bad, it just wasn't much of anything and I doubt I'd order it again. The meal was ended by a plate of complementary fresh fruit, a welcome change from the usual fortune cookie and/or orange.

    There's a choice of 3 hot teas - green, red, and oolong. All sadly are from teabags but the waiter will refill your hot water and replace the teabag as often as you'd like.

    We was told by the waiter that we were the first non-Asians to ask for the traditional menu. He very politely felt us out about our familiarity with the food and was very eager to help when needed and to back off when not needed.

    There's a 10% discount offered to first time customers and there is a Valpak coupon out now but it's only for the buffet.

    We are looking forward to returning and trying more things off the traditional menu. The staff really wants you to be happy and enjoy the food. Captain J's, beyond it's odd name and split personality, is worth the visit.

    4420 Capital Blvd
    Raleigh, NC 27604

     
     
    3 Replies
    1. re: rockycat

      Folks, the incongruity continues...

      First of all let me update the buffet situation. Buffet is still available during lunch on weekdays and all day on weekends.

      The Fitzgerald people have started serving seafood over the weekend. I finished work late last night so I got a chance to try the seafood entree while the Chinese chefs were on their dinner break. I had the fried flounder platter with fries and applesauce (some of the side items weren't ready yet). It was typical; not bad but nothing extraordinary. Flounder was nicely seasoned and not greasy at all so that was good. Tasted just like the one in Rolesville.

      Fast forward to this evening... My evening activity got cancelled due to the miserable rain so I went back there for another run, but with a slight twist. I wanted to order the Taiwanese pork chop rice along with a piece of fish but they ran out of big porkchops. What a shame so I ordered XLB instead, along with a piece of grilled catfish.

      Fish was nicely grilled and I actually would prefer that over fried. XLB was excellent, as usual. It was quite enjoyable to eat hushpuppies with chopsticks and XLB with a fork. Miraculously I didn't have any serious squirting mishaps lol.

      So what's really the reason behind the seafood? As many of you know, the buffet is not good and they had to toss the leftover food out every night. Lisa the owner finally had enough and she believes a sit down restaurant would generate more money. She loves the Joe's Crab Shack type seafood so she wants to have a seafood "front" while keeping the authentic Chinese up.

      Some of you might also be wondering, are the Chinese gonna be serving any seafood stuff? Sure! How about $14.99 lobsters?

       
       
       
       
       
      1. re: sierrarot328i

        Thanks so much for the info! :-)

        1. re: Tehama

          I stopped by for lunch yesterday and had a great meal. This place is the real deal. I ordered pork XLB, cold beef tendon app, and twice cooked pork. The soup dumplings were tasty. I learned that the trick is to pick them up with chopsticks at the top of the wrapped so you don't pierce the lower part, where the soup is. The beef tendons were tasty. The taste is faintly beefy. There's lots of good stuff in them for our skin and connective tissues. I thought I ordered twice cooked pork, but what I received wasn't what I was expecting. The dish I received was a mix of pork belly, mushrooms, onions, a little eggplant, & peppers. It may have been twice cooked pork through a Shanghaianese lens or it may have been the other pork belly dish one the menu. Regardless, it was quite tasty and I would order it again. The prices are quite reasonable. My entree was $10.99 and it was a healthy serving. They also gave me a $10 off coupon on the way out. I hope to return in April.

    2. Wow! Thanks to both of you.

      I live about 5 min. from this place and drive by it frequently. Since it is unusual to find a good buffet I had not even thought about checking it out.

      But the traditional Chinese food sounds fantastic! I'll be checking it out once I'm back in town!

      2 Replies
      1. re: meatn3

        I think we need to have a meet up there.

        1. re: chazzer

          I always suspected you were a genius! This idea proves it.
          Plus a Raleigh location might draw in some new folks who haven't been able to make it to points further west.

      2. Had the beef noodle soup tonight. Really good!

         
        5 Replies
        1. re: sierrarot328i

          Please come to the Choweat-up!

          1. re: meatn3

            What choweat-up? Haven't seen it on our googlegroup list.

            1. re: TerryG

              The not yet planned one that chazzer suggested up-thread.

              1. re: meatn3

                Depending on date, I'm very much in. Let's take this discussion to the googlegroup. Remind people how to sign up.

                1. re: TerryG

                  This link has the google group info:

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/691722

                  It's open to any Chowhound! It has been used to plan meet-up dinners and for off-topic discussions. Great food with terrific people so don't be shy!

                  Maybe we'll get enough interest to have that pig-roast....

        2. What an awesome and unexpected find.

          1. Had lunch with chazzer and his friend. All three of us pigged out pretty good.

            The XLB chef has 12 years or experience and he did an excellent job!

             
             
             
             
             
             
             
            2 Replies
            1. re: sierrarot328i

              Can you describe the dishes you photographed.. Bao aside.

              1. re: sierrarot328i

                4th pic: two cold apps: stewed beef shanks and bamboo shoots with chili sauce. 5th pic: stir fried sticky rice cakes with beef. 6th pic: fatty pork with garlic sauce. 7th pic: "split open" potstickers.

              2. Embarrassed to say I have no idea what XLB is. Can someone explain? I see from rockycat's post that they only have the pork XLB, so I wouldnt' be able to have any, but I'm interested to know more about it.

                2 Replies
                1. re: LulusMom

                  Xiao Long Bao, aka soup dumplings. A little miracle of liquid, solid, and deliciousness, all wrapped together.
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiaolongbao

                  1. re: rockycat

                    Thank you so much rockycat. Shame they don't have any besides pork because it sounds *really good*.

                2. Hey,

                  Just wanna follow up if y'all still interested in having a get together at Captain J's on July 21st.

                  I mentioned this at the google group but for those of you who are not in the group, one of the chefs is from the 66 Lu's Taiwanese Restaurant in downtown Flushing.

                  I sense the owner, who has no prior experience with restaurants, might be having a reality check. So I really suggest we enjoy the food while it lasts.

                  So please try your best to make July 21st open. Thanks!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: sierrarot328i

                    If I'm back in town I'll be there!

                    1. re: sierrarot328i

                      We're planning on it -- and bringing another couple.

                    2. You guys are amazing! We had been missing our XLB and great authentic Chinese since Asian Grill closed. I am really excited to give this place a try soon. Thank you!!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Erika RollerGirl

                        Oh, and the Pork Chop on Rice is pretty darn good, too. Apparently the Flushing restaurant where the chef previously worked is known for that dish. I also just happened to run into sierraot328i while I having lunch there with a friend. Small city, Raleigh.

                      2. Wanted to kick this up to remind every one about the meet up the the 21st. We need to start getting together a head count Please go to

                        https://groups.google.com/forum/#!top...

                        and let us know if you are going and how many.

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: chazzer

                          Sounds like a fun time. I just posted in the thread. Let me check to see if anyone else from my house wants to come.

                          1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                            Here's the head count so far:
                            1. me
                            2. bob and family (3)
                            3. tom from raleigh
                            4. terry g (4)
                            5. burgeoningfoodie (2?)
                            6. romansperson (2)
                            7. meatn3
                            8. Janice
                            9. Andrea (2)

                            Please add yourself to the list if you're interested. 7/21 6pm

                            New item on the menu. Scallion pancakes with beef $4.50

                             
                            1. re: sierrarot328i

                              Don't post about this on here. Just keep it to the email. I'm sure moderators will state something to you.

                              1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                So how was your big group outing? I'm taking two people there tonight for our first time going and I'd love to hear what was great and what wasn't so great before we head out. Thanks!

                                1. re: Erika RollerGirl

                                  Before they seat you make sure to ask for the traditional menu. The soup dumplings are great (XLB) after you order them you can go to the prep area by the buffet to watch the chef roll out the dough and make them.

                                  The shanghi thick noodles are also good the noodles are fresh and have a great bite. Order a cold dish or two and on the hot dishes I have enjoyed what ever I ordered.

                                  1. re: Erika RollerGirl

                                    I'll just add, though, that the bamboo shoots were not a big winner all around. It's a matter of taste, though. One person was clamoring to take home the leftovers. But for the most part, what chazzer said.

                                    1. re: Erika RollerGirl

                                      The spicy cabbage, the tea-infused duck, and Szechuan Stir Fried Green Beans were also popular -- although the cabbage needs to be ordered in advance and the duck lacked tea flavor. But everyone enjoyed the meal. We're talking about doing it again -- and going a bit more adventurous next time. Photos to follow.

                                      1. re: TerryG

                                        They still have the spicy cabbage. Went back there for a late dinner last night :-p
                                        Try the Fried Bread (S12 on the menu $2.50). Chef Peng have started to make the dough from scratch and it's absolutely worth it. On top of that you get to dip it with condensed milk!

                                        When you get there, just mention you know some of the people from the big group Sunday night...

                                        Here's a little background about the chefs:
                                        1. Chef Peng is the dumpling/dimsum chef. He is originally from China. He has worked in New York and Rockville, Maryland before coming to Raleigh three months ago. He has over 12 years or experience making XLB.

                                        2. Chef Chen is the main chef. He is originally from Taiwan. He has worked at 66 Lu's in downtown Flushing then Rockville where he met Chef Peng. He has over 25 years of experience.

                                        Chef Chen (another!) is the head buffet chef. He is Chinese/Vietnamese native. He had been the main chef at Crystal Palace for 13 years until they changed to Capital Buffet.

                                         
                                        1. re: TerryG

                                          Here are the photos. That's Kevin Yen demonstrating the proper XLB eating technique. Most of us (at least the ones at our table) realized we need more practice. Stay tuned for a video of the XLB-making.

                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                              2. I enjoyed all of the items I had. I am not sure which plates were suppose to be hot vs. only room temp or cold. The pork was delicious. I didn't mind the bamboo shoots but they looked like they were suppose to be spicier than they were. The spicy cabbage wasn't really that spicy. I wish we had a 2nd plate of noodles but thats okay and the red bean dessert wasn't as flavorful as I've had.. Maybe I'm just not that picky anymore. In any case, I get the sense that they are still changing things over be it on the menu, in prep or with the kitchen utensils they have in the back. Hopefully it will progress and be a good option for people in that quadrant of the Triangle. I would return to try other items.

                                1. We had a wonderful meal there last night and are so glad for all the recommendations and photos that were posted! Here's a bit about what we ordered (keep in mind there were only 3 of us so we sort of over-ordered but didn't really have much in the way of leftovers after indulging!) We got the Taiwanese sausage with raw garlic (yum! Total winner), XLB of course (so delicious and maybe even better than those at Asian Grill), the beef and scallion roll (this would be a great lunch dish on its own), crispy duck (they were out of tea leaf smoked duck but this was a good substitution), salt & pepper short ribs, and Shanghai noodles. We were very pleased with everything we ate although next time we may go for some spicier items as nothing we ordered was above a mild heat level. I look forward to trying the beef shank noodle soup soon as well as some seafood items.

                                  Thanks again for giving us the low down on this hidden gem. I really hope this place figures out a way to market themselves to stay alive. I worry about how well they will do just going off of their buffet sales. Their name and signage are a real turn-off so I hope they can make it work so they will be around for a long long time.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: Erika RollerGirl

                                    Glad you enjoyed it. How did you like the salt & pepper short ribs? And from what I've heard, you should enjoy the noodle soup when you have a chance to try it.

                                    Don't get too wound up over the spiciness issue. Remember, this isn't Sichuan-style food and not everything is supposed to be spicy nor will the spiciness reach the level of Super Wok or other traditional Sichuan restaurants. That just isn't what this food is supposed to be about.

                                    Capt. J's is picking up currency among Asian diners and that's really what they need to stay in business. While the owner and manager are VERY happy to have non-Asians as customers, we're not ever going to be able to keep them in business by ourselves. Besides, isn't it kind of fun to be in on such a great secret, even if it isn't so much of a secret anymore?

                                    1. re: rockycat

                                      On places like this and Gourmet Kingdom or just any place the does their culture's food as close to what it would be like in their home country... I try to have my friends try it even if they are hesitant if for no other reason to show them that there is a whole other side to flavors and food stuffs.

                                      As far as Chinese food, don't get me wrong I like some of the typical buffet fare items but I'm gung ho for something that is more the prototype of what I may encounter if I were to go to that part of the world or that the Chinese community would be more likely to eat.

                                      1. re: rockycat

                                        The salt & pepper short ribs were crispy, tender, and super flavorful. They come with a smattering of garlic and red and green peppers on top, Everything tasted very fresh and light. I would not hesitate to order anything again except maybe the noodles and that's just because I'd rather have a slightly more interesting noodle dish, not because it wasn't good.

                                        As far as them catering to the Asian crowd, I sure hope you're right and that they are filling the tables often so they stay alive. I wish I truly understood what happened to Asian Grill. Anytime an independently owned gem goes under it makes me wish I was a more frequent patron as if that could have been the thing that would have saved them. I am not that loyal as there are plenty of great places to dine around the area and I think that gives me some kind of "restaurant neglect guilt" if that exists, lol.

                                        1. re: Erika RollerGirl

                                          The rumor on Asian Grill was that the chef left

                                    2. I wonder if they will start other Tang bao besides XLB.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                        They have recently started selling the crab version for a buck more.

                                        They are gonna be making some changes in a few weeks. Don't worry they are not shutting down. Stay tuned!

                                         
                                      2. I hated that I was out of town during out last meet-up at Captain J's, but finally got to go last night. A group of 8 of us went, and I was lucky enough one of my friends is from Hong Kong and she ordered everything for us. (Ordered from the Chinese menu; we did not do the buffet.)

                                        I'll never come close to remembering all we ordered, or the names of any of it, but my oh my was it GOOD! We had at least 3 or 4 different dumpling/roll type small plates, a bowl of Cantonese fish, eggplant (sort of looked like ratatouille, but not exactly), green beans, scallion pancakes, beef & scallion pancakes, tender little marinated beef slices, pork and "dry" tofu stir fry, something that looked like spaghetti with bolognese sauce [which I later heard from one of the girls it was the best thing on the table, but I didn't try it], watermelon, rice, on and on and on and on.... There is no way I can remember all that we had and there were plenty of leftovers to take home.

                                        It was exceptionally wonderful. I think we all had a beer and the price per person came to $19 before tip.

                                        I had the happy coincidence to run into a fellow Chowhounder there, so that made the evening all better. I really am looking forward to going back - I just need one of you guys that knows how to order the best stuff to go with me!

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: Tehama

                                          Sounds great, and aren't those beef & scallion pancakes delicious? You don't need anyone's help ordering, though. It's pretty hard to go wrong with anything on the menu. I've only had a very few things that I wouldn't order again and some are just because they're not my taste.

                                          I will recommend,though, that if you go for lunch order the pork and rice plate and try to see if you can get it with a preserved egg rather than a fried egg. The dish sounds simple but it's so good.

                                          1. re: Tehama

                                            It was nice meeting you last night, Tehama!

                                            Since some of y'all saw me last night "testing" the new food I might just spill the beans now.

                                            They wanna reduce the buffet and attract more sit down customers. They are gonna be rolling out the "Bento Specials" starting this Monday. For $6.95, you get your American Chinese stuff with either steamed or fried rice and an egg roll. I tried the General Tso's Chicken last night and it was awesome! Chicken pieces were perfectly fried and the sauce was well balanced with sweet, sour and heat. Portion was very generous for the price!

                                            Chef Peng has started making a few more dimsum stuff: crab XLB, steamed vegetable buns, fried/steamed bread with condensed milk on the side (!) and pan fried buns (sheng jiān bao).

                                            Peking Duck is being discussed/considered. Not set in stone yet but chef Chen told me last night that the Tea Duck is more involved than Peking Duck. So lets hope they will start selling them soon!

                                            Lisa the owner is considering changing the name to Captain J's Restaurant. She is gonna be adding Chinese signs soon since some customers got "confused" when they saw the Spanish sign.

                                             
                                             
                                            1. re: sierrarot328i

                                              I hope they keep the tea duck - it was fantastic! I prefer it to Peking Duck actually.

                                              1. re: meatn3

                                                New item: Pan Fried Buns (Shēng Jiān Bao, thanks,google translate!)

                                                 
                                                1. re: sierrarot328i

                                                  looks awesome!!! And so nice to have met you, too!

                                          2. Changed the signs today.

                                             
                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: sierrarot328i

                                              A few new items have popped out!

                                              1. Honey Wings (A01)
                                              2. Boneless Spare Ribs (A02)
                                              3. Crab XLB (A03)
                                              4. Pan Fried Buns (A05)
                                              5. Spare Ribs with Black Bean Sauce (A06)
                                              6. CHICKEN FEET! (A07)
                                              7. Cantonese Roast Duck (A15)
                                              8. Char Siu (Roast Pork) (A16)
                                              9. Pork Belly with Sour Cabbage (K10)
                                              10. Singapore Mai Fun (stir fried rice noodles with curry)
                                              11. Beef CHOW FUN (A09)
                                              12. Spicy Beef Chow Fun (A10)
                                              13. Soy Sauce Egg Noodles (A11)
                                              14. Bento Box Specials on weekdays

                                              If the Char Siu and Roast Duck are good, no more Grand Asia Market for me! Hope the Chow Fun is good... Chef Chen told me the fresh chow fun is hard to get and he doesn't like/want to get the frozen ones. Will be trying that in a few days.

                                               
                                               
                                               
                                               
                                               
                                               
                                               
                                              1. re: sierrarot328i

                                                Thanks so much for the update!

                                            2. You guys need to do some Yelp reviews because it's in a horrible state right now! Probably due to the pretty standard offering in the buffet.

                                              Sounds like an interesting place to check out.

                                              21 Replies
                                              1. re: panthur

                                                Does anyone really take Yelp seriously? I don't mean that sarcastically. I really mean it. I read Yelp for giggles, but that's about it. It's clear that a good percentage of Yelpers wouldn't know good food if it jumped up and smacked them in the face.

                                                However, from the mix of diners I've seen at Capt. J's, they seem to be reaching their target audience. I know they advertise in the Chinese language newspapers and the front room has been packed with Chinese families and some non-Asians ordering off the traditional menu. The buffet area is attracting Mexican families and working people. I'm sure they wouldn't shun any new customers for any reason, but I get the impression that the average Yelper is not this place's prime customer. IMHO.

                                                1. re: rockycat

                                                  I looked at Yelp once, and never have again.

                                                  1. re: rockycat

                                                    It depends. I know some yelpers but I also know them from twitter and chow hound and so I take those reviews serious.. Then again I don't rely on ONE source.. I look at Chowhound, Twitter, Yelp, sometimes trip advisor, and the local paper.. so lets just say a variety.

                                                    1. re: rockycat

                                                      I think Panthur was saying that more Yelp reviews highlighting this side of what Captain j offers would give that audience more insight into what the restaurant offers. For instance, Gourmet Kingdom was a pretty horrible buffet before it was redone... but I wouldn't have known about it had I not seen a friend of mine's yelp post just do to the people who visit the site. I believe she was meaning that some of these positive posts about the more authentic style items would benefit the restaurant by hitting a different audience.

                                                      1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                        I totally agree with burgeoningfoodie. Dedicated foodies are a small slice of any restaurant's market. And since many restaurants don't show up on the Chowhound wave length, I admit I do check out Yelp from time to time.

                                                        Gads! I've outed myself now as an utter gourmet philistine. Before our Chowhound outing to Captain J's, I saw the Yelp rating and it was a complete turn-off. But I went anyway and was blown away..

                                                        We are doing a disservice to our favorite independent spots by disdaining posting to Yelp. We've seen way too many favorites go under while sticking to our small online enclaves like CH.

                                                        So, let's take Panthur's warning seriously and take action.

                                                        1. re: TerryG

                                                          I'm siding with all of you! Yelp could be a joke sometimes but it's a valuable tool for the general public.

                                                          I left them a four star review on yelp (with 99% of the pictures lol). Perhaps some of y'all here should write something (nice) there as well.

                                                          Speaking of pictures, here are a few more...
                                                          1. Beef chow fun
                                                          2. Spicy beef chow fun
                                                          Chef Chen couldn't get fresh hor fun so he ended up getting them from Li-Ming :-( still pretty good though.
                                                          3. Soy Sauce Noodle. Egg noodles stir fried with soy sauce, bean sprouts and onions. A Cantonese classic. Shouldn't be pan fried though so I need to mention that to chef Chen next time (possibly tonight? lol).

                                                          Since they now selling entrees with pan fried noodle perhaps I should convince him to make the Chicken Pan Fried noodles. (Picture taken from China Bowl in Edison, NJ)

                                                           
                                                           
                                                           
                                                           
                                                      2. re: rockycat

                                                        I've used Yelp for areas where I couldn't find any CH posts. It serves as a starting point. Some areas have some good posters. In larger areas there is just so much babble to wade through that I tend to use Yelp as a last resort.

                                                        I've come across some pretty good tips on City-Data. There are a couple of CH's who post on the local forum.

                                                        1. re: meatn3

                                                          My problem with Yelp is that there are too many stories of Restaurant Owners providing free meals to influential yelpers, influential yelpers threatening owners with bad reviews if they are not comped food, and even yelp removing good reviews if establishments don't advertise with them.

                                                          All this and some of the reviews, including ones where they complain that their sushi was raw, cause me to distrust yelp. I will look at it for though, but will not trust it as much as chow or even trip adviser.

                                                          1. re: chazzer

                                                            Laughed at the raw sushi thing. Very funny. I know that Yelp has the reputation of being where people go to sound off on some (perceived?) slight or to try to drum up business by offering stuff in trade for good reviews.

                                                            I've gotten to know the tastes of most of regulars on this board through their reviews and I trust the reviews because of that.

                                                            1. re: chazzer

                                                              Yeah I use it for photos a lot too (I assume that is what you were saying). Especially so I don't get disappointed when the description of a food item brings out something different on the plate.

                                                              1. re: chazzer

                                                                I love trip advisor, but I use it more for hotels/things to do more than for restaurants (although I've certainly at least looked at reviews for that). With the hotels, I start with the lowest reviews and work my way up. So often there are a couple of lone low reviews that seem pretty obviously to have been made because of something out of the ordinary for the hotel. You can kind of read between the lines (like the raw sushi thing) with those reviews. But when there are a bunch of midling reviews it becomes harder.

                                                                1. re: chazzer

                                                                  True. My few good yelp experiences have been in small towns/rural areas. I imagine there is less of the freebies and intimidation going on in that environment.

                                                                  1. re: meatn3

                                                                    Sometimes Yelp reviews of chain restaurants in small towns and cities have a real outsider art quality to them.

                                                                    1. re: Naco

                                                                      Yelp has this place listed under the "Buffet" category. I have asked them to add it to the Chinese category as well. Perhaps they would be more eager to do this if other Yelpers asked this as well?

                                                                      1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                                                                        Hmmm can a user not go in and change it? I'll take a look but I thought one is able to go in and change it from open to closed.. but who knows.

                                                                        1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                          Bf

                                                                          'twas locked.

                                                                          On a food related note, I'm super excited to try the new dishes that I saw on this thread.

                                                                          1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                                                                            Had the Chow Fun this past Sunday, it was quite good

                                                                            1. re: chazzer

                                                                              Chow Fun was one of my standards at Fortune Palace. I'm looking forward to trying the rendition here!

                                                                              1. re: meatn3

                                                                                Had the pork chop on rice today. Fantastic! Two nice size chops plus ground pork on large portion of rice with bok choy and a hard boiled egg. Tremendous value at $7.95. What a dish!

                                                                                1. re: TerryG

                                                                                  I love that one. I'm glad they've gone back to serving the preserved egg. For a while they were substituting a fried egg and I just didn't like it as much. You can almost get 2 lunches out of that entree.

                                                              2. re: rockycat

                                                                I think everyone has my response covered. I like Yelp fine for what it is. The opinion of an average person. But it's where most people go to find out about restaurants and if this place goes out of business, then their poor Yelp rating will be partially to blame.

                                                                I personally like Urbanspoon and of course browsing on here. But people on here tend to be snobby at times.

                                                                Now to figure out why I'm not getting email notifications!

                                                            2. We met some friends there Saturday night. Long story short, the dumplings (both crab and pork XLB, fried dumplings) were an absolute hit while the other dim sum type items were mediocre. The waitress, Mai, was quite amusing. We ordered the crispy flounder with chili sauce but she-- without asking-- changed the order to flounder in a szechuan chili broth. Luckily, she was right-- it was great. When we told her we still hadn't gotten the beef scallion roll she said we had enough food we didn't need it! I have never had a waitress dissuade us from more food before. Guess we'll have to try it next time.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: bbqme

                                                                By any chance, do you happen to know if the waitress was the same Mai who used to work at Red Palace and later at Asian Grille? If so, she's a real gem.

                                                                1. re: rockycat

                                                                  Sorry, just now seeing this. I don't if she was at Red Palace.

                                                                  1. re: bbqme

                                                                    So Captain J's will open on thanksgiving day and guess what... NO BUFFET!

                                                                    Here are some of the new items:
                                                                    1. Peking Duck 3 ways. Sliced duck and skin, stir fried gizzards with bean sprouts and carcass soup. $39.99
                                                                    2. Pork Belly stew. $10.99 interesting way to cook as chef Chen pairs the pork belly chunks with carrots and potatoes.
                                                                    3. Stir fried Water Spinach $13.95, $14.95 with Sa Cha sauce.
                                                                    4. Stir fried Asparagus $9.99, $12.99 with chicken/beef/pork and $13.99 with shrimp.
                                                                    5. Kung Pao Lotus $13.95
                                                                    6. Spicy Hot Pot bowl (no stove though) $16.00
                                                                    7.Wine by glass $4.99 and $35.99 bottle, champagne $3.99
                                                                    8. Dessert... 8 treasure rice
                                                                    9. Rice Vermicelli Noodle Soup with a few choices of broth
                                                                    10. Scallion Pancakes with egg
                                                                    11. Pulled pork sandwich!

                                                                    You will need to call ahead for Peking Duck.

                                                                     
                                                                     
                                                                     
                                                                     
                                                                     
                                                                     
                                                              2. I hope that some of you are convincing your friends to go with you to try the more authentic items. I always find it a delight and so do the owner's servers when I can convince people to order more authentic items. The servers sometimes think I'm not sure what I'm doing but then they see I eat what they bring with delight. I enjoy it when people who are new to the experience and cuisine also leave learning and liking something other than what is found at most other places. It like taking someone who has only eaten tex/mex/taco bell to an actual taqueria with the salsa bars and having them try soemthing like Al Pastor and them realizing that what they've been eating is NOT what they should be eating :-p

                                                                1. Reviewed in today's N&O

                                                                  http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/10/3...

                                                                  Other then the XLB, which are great, I don't think I had any of the items he discussed in the review. But agree with him about the service.

                                                                  Also, to long time board posters who remember Red Palace, would be happy to know that May is now working as a waitress on weekends.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: chazzer

                                                                    Good/bad timing:

                                                                    Couple of the managers had to be on leave for the past month. Just as Lisa was stressing out about running the restaurant herself the review came in and a flock of people came this past weekend. As expected they couldn't handle everyone. Let's hope some of those customers would come back and enjoy the food.

                                                                    The new manager's English is not as good as Jerry and he was clueless when someone was ordering Chardonnay (I had to help him out). Luckily one of the on leave managers is coming back tomorrow and he was used to be a bartender at a yacht club in Hong Kong. Speaking of Chardonnay, Lisa does carry ABC license and she will try to set up a bar soon.

                                                                    Meanwhile check out some of the new items:
                                                                    1. Scallion Pancake with scrambled egg
                                                                    2. Pulled pork sandwich
                                                                    3. Rice vermicelli noodle soup with 3 choices of broth: plain, spicy, hot n'sour. Comes with ground pork, julienned bamboo shoots and carrots, wood ears and bokchoys.
                                                                    4. Eight treasure rice. Dessert. Haven't tried it yet. I don't know if they make it of buy it either way expect to be insanely sweet.

                                                                     
                                                                     
                                                                     
                                                                     
                                                                     
                                                                  2. Hey folks, craving for Christmas Chinese Turkey on Thanksgiving/Hanukah? Give Captain J's a call to reserve for Peking Duck. I will try to find out more details tomorrow.

                                                                    1. Folks, stay tuned for some Calabash styled seafood! More details to come...

                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                      1. re: sierrarot328i

                                                                        That sounds slightly worrisome. I'm a big believer in "stick with what you know/do best". Their menu is already huge, no need to try to do Southern as well as the rest imho.

                                                                        1. re: Erika RollerGirl

                                                                          Don't worry - too much. From what I hear, those responsible for the seafood know what they're doing. But yeah, the whole situation does sound a little odd.

                                                                          1. re: rockycat

                                                                            I wouldn't worry. Calabash style seafood is lightly battered and fried. I think any Chinese restaurant worth its salt could properly fry seafood.

                                                                            1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                                                                              Maybe mix it up and do it with Tempura?

                                                                              1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                                                Folks, the authentic chinese is not going away.

                                                                                Basically they are replacing the buffet with fitzgerald's seafood.

                                                                                Some of you might not aware that fitzgerald's off Atlantic and Millbrook had an accident in the kitchen back in December. They had been idling ever since.

                                                                                I'll give out more details in the next few days.

                                                                                1. re: sierrarot328i

                                                                                  Nothing about this on the Fitzgerald's website at
                                                                                  http://www.fitzgeraldseafoodrestauran...

                                                                                  1. re: boaviagem

                                                                                    Fitzgerald's on Atlantic and Millbrook had been *closed* since December due to fire.

                                                                                    Captain J's hired Fitzgerald's son John to run the seafood stuff a month ago. Technically it has really nothing to do with Fitzgerald's restaurant anymore so that's why you don't see it on their website.

                                                                                    1. re: sierrarot328i

                                                                                      I wonder what happened to the dessert bakery business that was featured inside Fitzgerald's. They made a range of classic "Southern Lady Cakes" that were quite good.

                                                                      2. The seafood side is having a soft opening tomorrow (April 12th). Buffet will be shut down but you could still order authentic Chinese at the VIP area.

                                                                        Don't do what I did the other night though lol (look at the picture)

                                                                         
                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: sierrarot328i

                                                                          I'm suffering sympathetic indigestion now. :-)

                                                                          Btw, what type of fish is that and how was it?

                                                                          1. re: rockycat

                                                                            Chazzer, it was grilled... Lol yeah

                                                                            It was grilled flounder. I'm not a fish expert it but tasted great without tartar sauce.

                                                                          2. re: sierrarot328i

                                                                            Was that enough fried food for you?