Food Review: Captain Express Hawaiin BBQ & Sushi in Maumelle

I got word this morning that the new take-out only restaurant, Captain Express Hawaiian BBQ & Sushi opened yesterday! So, guess what I had for lunch?

I found their vast menu online here. Mostly, the menu consists of Hawaiian bbq styles of chicken, beef, pork, and shrimp and mahi mahi. There’s also a few appetizers, such as egg rolls, gyoza, and spam musubi (like spam sushi). Then, they also have noodles, rice bowls, and plenty of sushi rolls to choose from as well. It was hard picking out what to get just Drew and me for lunch, but I did it!

This take-out restaurant is located in the old Dominos Pizza location, right off the Boulevard at 115 Carnahan Dr, Maumelle, AR 72113. When I pulled up, there were three others awaiting their orders as well.

More and more people were piling into the parking lot as I waited for my food. They told me it would be about 25 minutes and it ended up being about 30, which is great for day two of business and how busy they were.

I must say the moment I opened the door, the smells were INCREDIBLE. I knew then the food would not disappoint. So, can we get to the food yet?

We ordered the bang bang shrimp as an appetizer, and just one combo meal that consisted of Hawaiian bbq chicken and Hawaiian bbq beef. This combo comes with white or fried rice, sautéed veggies, and potato salad, plus two sauces.

The shrimp appetizer was $4.50, which is fair. There wasn’t much shrimp there, but it was tasty. It had a tempura batter and was slightly crispy with their bang bang sauce, all on top of iceburg lettuce. I probably won’t get this again only because I want to try the egg rolls and spam musubi.

The combo- holy cow. This photo does not do it justice. It was packed to the brim of food. Underneath the ridiculous amount of chicken and beef, there was even more rice than you can see. Then, underneath all of the rice is sauteed/ grilled veggies that included broccoli, cabbage, carrots, and onion.

To make it even better, everything was delicious! The fried rice was similar to what you get at a Japanese hibachi restaurant. It was very flavorful. The beef was very tasty steak, but divine when dipped in the brown sauce. I have no idea what kind it was, but it was thick and complimented the steak with even more umami. The chicken was tender and flavorful and went better with the yum yum sauce provided, in my opinion. The potato salad on the side was very creamy and a little bland. Though, to be fair, I’m not much of a potato salad kind of girl.

After tasting everything separately, we just mixed it all up, including the sauces. Gah, it was delicious. I devoured it like I hadn’t eaten in days.

After both Drew and I ate as much as we wanted, there was still this much left over. Guess what I’m having for dinner tonight? And I’m excited about it.

Food Review: Valhalla Restaurant in Benton

I recently heard of the new pizza and axe-throwing place in Benton that was getting rave reviews for their food. I made sure they had a patio space and then took my mom for dinner to try it out.
We didn’t even go upstairs to the axe-throwing area, so this is strictly about the food and restaurant.  Let’s break it down:

The Environment

Valhalla is located just off the center of town, in the previously antiquated Palace building. This building has been around about 100 years and has seen its days as a theater, library, and more. Now, this building hosts the very modern Valhalla Restaurant and Axe Throwing AND the delicious Baja Grill!

Just follow the signs into Valhalla’s restaurant, which is a great wide open space with a bar.

To the right, you’ll find where you order your food. This is set up a lot like Zaza’s, where you order and pay here, get a number, get your drinks, and then sit wherever you’d like.

We chose the patio, which had two large TVs  and a couple Big Ass Fans. (I’m not cursing, that is literally their proper name.)

However, there’s also a HUGE patio area in the back with plentiful seating and cute lights. There’s even a ping pong table.

The whole environment seemed fun and full of life by the time we left around 6:30 on a Wednesday. The bar had MANY options on tap and there was space for plenty of people to spread out. I love it!

The Menu

I’m going to be honest, I did not come here for the pizza. I saw a picture of their Cuban sandwich and saw they had a banh mi (my favorite sandwich across the board) on the menu and THOSE were what I came here for.

So, you can imagine my disappointment when I see the menu on the wall and all of the sandwiches were marked out. The Cuban and Banh Mi weren’t even on it anyway. I asked about them and they aren’t currently selling sandwiches.

Instead, there are some appetizers, pizza of all sorts, and salads.

Their current menu can be found here.

The Food

I’m going to preface this with everything was so good, I can see why they don’t care to focus on sandwiches, when their pizza and appetizers are so perfect.

Raider Roll- $4 (or 2 for $7)

This roll is made like a cinnamon roll, but with savory ingredients. With their fresh made pizza dough, a LOT of butter, plenty of garlic, and fresh herbs, this massive raider roll will be famous. I didn’t even try the marinara, it doesn’t need it.  The crispy, buttery crust on the bottom and the gooey middle is full of flavor! If you love butter and garlic, this will be a favorite.  I think this is definitely the best deal on the menu as well.

Thai Raider: $11
Description: Mixed greens, spinach, green onions, house picked carrots, edamame, fresh bell pepper, pickled onion, wonton crunchies with a garlic ginger peanut creamy dressing

This salad was very enjoyable. There was nothing too spicy or sweet or sour in it like many Thai salads. It was pretty muted flavor-wise, but very tasty with crisp veggies and a creamy dressing. I don’t know if I would spend $11 on it when it comes with no protein, though.

Pepperoni Pizza (with no cheese): $22

Before I make any other comments, I must say that this is the most perfect crust I have had outside of NYC. In fact, it tasted just like the best pizza I had in NYC. The crust is their house-made dough, aged for 48 hours. They say on their website they have a limit of dough per day. It is perfectly crispy with still having just a bit of chew. With just a few nearly-burnt areas, it was perfection for me.

The only issue I have is I’m paying $22 for this pizza. All pizzas are 18 inches, so they are massive. Though I ask for no cheese. If you want extra cheese, it is $2. Usually, I get a discount or an unspoken addition of extra toppings to make up for not getting the fresh mozzarella and shredded mozarella. I got neither here, not that I asked. I’ll ask next time, because there will be a next time.

The pizza overall was great. The crust is a must! The pepperonis, though not overflowing, are thick and delicious. The rest is in my fridge, in Ziplocs, because the box was too bit to fit in it, covered with extra pepperonis from my stock and ready to be reheated for lunch. I can’t wait for lunch!

Overall

This place is cool. Modern, full of activities, a great bar, fantastic pizza, wonderful outdoor spaces. This is the perfect hang out spot.

They are open for a fantastic looking brunch on Sundays. Does an eggs benedict pizza sound good to you, because it does to me!  They are closed Monday and Tuesday. Open for lunch and dinner and the time in-between otherwise.

If you try the place out, let me know what else is a must-try and if they have brought back any sandwiches yet.