Taste of Houston: Captain Brad’s Coastal Kitchen honors a family legacy by serving up good seafood

Captain Brad's Coastal Kitchen (Brittney Aplin)

TOMBALL, Texas – Brad Aplin was a local restauranteur who opened three seafood joints in the Bayou City starting in the mid-90s. Brittney Aplin grew up learning about seafood and the restaurant business by watching her father.

When he passed away in 2017, Brittney Aplin decided to open her own seafood restaurant and name it after her dad.

Aplin and her crew, including head chef Francisco Garcia, had been together for over 10 years and when she opened the restaurant, they all had one goal in mind: for guests to “feel like they’re relaxing at a friend’s house without a care in the world.”

With that mission in the forefront, she took the values instilled in her by her father and, alongside her crew, Brittney Aplin brought Captain Brad’s Coastal Kitchen to life.

Exterior of Captain Brad's Coastal Kitchen. (Brittney Aplin)

Captian Brad’s ‘knows seafood’

When Aplin says she knows seafood it’s not just some “marketing gimmick” to get people interested in the food at Captain Brad’s.

Seafood has been in the family for generations. Aplin’s grandfather was a commercial crabber and her grandmother used to shuck oysters. Her father was a third-generation commercial shrimper, crabber and oysterman who was raised catching seafood along the coasts.

Aplin took her knowledge of seafood and, with Garcia’s help, showcased it in popular dishes like the Coastal Catch, which has snow crab, crawfish, shrimp, Andouille sausage, corn and potatoes. The meats can be boiled on the house blend of seasonings or guests can choose to have it extra spicy, garlic spicy, garlic style, or boiled in Old Bay.

The Coastal Catch at Captain Brad's Coastal Kitchen. (Brittney Aplin)

Another favorite is the Mahi Irene. A Mahi Mahi filet is pan-seared and topped with lump blue crab, shrimp and mushrooms in a garlic butter sauce.

Mahi Irene at Captain Brad's Coastal Kitchen (Brittney Aplin)

Try something new

If you are looking to enjoy some crawfish or crab without all the extra work and carnage, there are two staff-favorite dishes that you cannot miss.

The Sautéed Blue Crab Fingers, which comes with a cream sauce that is made-to-order, rice and bread perfect for soaking up the extra sauce.

Sautéed Blue Crab Fingers at Captain Brad's Coastal Kitchen. (Brittney Aplin)

Aplin also recommends the Crawfish Etouffee. It is made from scratch from the family recipe of the assistant kitchen manager. People can order it a la carte or with a side of fried crawfish tails.

Crawfish Etouffee at at Captain Brad's Coastal Kitchen. (Brittney Aplin)

“This is … the perfect dish when you want crawfish but they’re not in season, or you don’t feel like getting your hands dirty,” Aplin said.

What people are saying

People on Yelp! love what Captian Brad’s has to offer.

“This is NOT your typical seafood restaurant,” said Mariah P. “Their boudin stuffed jalapeños might as well have been made by God himself. (The) Crawfish Pistolette is a favorite as well! Their crawfish, redfish and every other fish is cooked beautifully. I enjoy their chicken fried chicken on days I don’t want seafood. Their gravy is amazing and to be honest, I wasn’t expecting it to be that good coming from a seafood place. Their drinks? Delicious! We love their Whiskey Blackberry lemonade! We eat here about a weekly basis.”

Josh S. said, “It was our first time to Captain Brad’s and we will definitely be back. (There was) great food, service and atmosphere! I recommend the brussel sprout appetizer and michelada.”

“(This is) my go-to place for crawfish,” Daniel P said. “Get the spicy garlic flavor with limes on the side. So yummy! Close to home, friendly staff and reasonably priced menu. Why go somewhere else?"

Supporting local

Two of Aplin’s favorite spots (other than her own restaurant) are Jersey Bagels on Highway 290 and Huffmeister Road and Caroline’s Kitchen on Louetta.

On her way to work, Aplin likes to stop by Jersy Bagels because “they’re authentic and everything is made from scratch.”

She also loves to get the tamales and baked goods from Caroline’s Kitchen. Aplin said the restaurant also has good lunch specials.

New normal

Aplin said trying to work through the coronavirus pandemic has been a struggle, but she and her team were able to make it work.

“It has been quite a whirlwind,” Aplin said. “We have had to adjust our business model several times. (Doing) solely to-go orders was incredibly difficult, so taking some of that pressure off of us, even at a limited dine-in capacity was such a relief for our kitchen and crew.”

Aplin said new procedures are in place to help keep guests and the staff safe, including temperature checks for employees, distanced tables, disposable menus and tableware (upon request), UV air purifiers and more.

“The community has been so patient with us as we change and adapt to new policies what feels like almost daily,” Aplin said. “We are learning and we are giving it our all. We appreciate the support and patience with us.”

Business info


24435 Tomball Pkwy, Tomball, TX 77377


Sunday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Mon – Thurs: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Fri – Sat: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

About the Author:

Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli has been a digital news editor at KPRC 2 since 2018. She is a published poet and has background in creative writing and journalism. Daniela has covered events like Hurricane Harvey and the Astros World Series win. In her spare time, Daniela is an avid reader and loves to spend time with her two miniature dachshunds.