Written By: Lindsey Rogers, Boots For Troops Co-Founder/Director of Operations
Have you ever eaten at Captain Brad’s Coastal Kitchen in Tomball, TX? I still remember my first visit. I knew I was going to love this place before I even made it inside. Directly in front of the main entrance to Capitan Brad’s are two reserved parking spots for “Hero” parking. Hero parking is defined as any veteran or first responder. How many other restaurants in this country do this? I cannot name another in my town. This immediately establishes the respect that Captain Brad’s team has for veterans and first responders.
When you first walk into “Brad’s” you have an option of sitting on the dinning side or the bar side. Either way the chairs are beyond comfortable, the area is clean and open with a refreshing vibe. There is an instant buzz that hits you from hard working staff who genuinely look happy to be there. A server greets you kindly and asks what they can get you to drink. Before you even get any drinks or food you can already tell that the establishment is very well run.
You may wonder, who is the person responsible for this special place? I sat down with the owner, Brittney Aplin for a conversation about Captain Brad’s. The first thing you notice when you walk in is the vibe and decor, which all came from Brittney’s vision. She wanted her restaurant to be genuine and positive, anything but generic. She personally handpicked all the nautical decor, most of it coming from local shops in Galveston. You will notice beautifully painted sport fish and custom hand-crafted wooden signs. It is the small touches that let someone know; this place is special.
If you read the back of the menu, you will discover the story behind Captain Brad’s, it was named after Brittney’s father Brad who passed a few years ago. Brad was a commercial crabber, shrimper and oysterman from Florida who went on to open three seafood restaurants in the Houston area. I asked Brittney what she may have learned from her dad about the business, and she said he is responsible for everything she knows. Most importantly, “when a guest walks in the door, you treat them like they just walked into their friends house”.
“Brads” opened on January 19th, 2019. Which without any intention, was Brad’s birthday. A year later, the pandemic hit and crushed many small businesses, especially the restaurant industry. I wondered just what it was that led this place, to not only stay in business, but thrive. Perhaps it was the welcoming family mentality and how they take care of their customers. Maybe their food and drinks were just far better and fresher than everyone else’s. Ultimately, Brittney had the answer for me. It is their support for the community and a lot of heartfelt prayer that has caused their continued success. Brittney said, “support your community and your community will support you”, and she is exactly right.
Captain Brad’s started supporting Boots For Troops in 2019 at Concert in the Country by providing 50 plus meals for our green room and volunteers. In 2020, Captain Brad’s generously stepped up and became a $2,500 sponsor for Boots For Troops Annual Concert in the Country. I remember thinking how nice it was of them to do that especially with all the hardships many restaurants faced that year. They then followed that up with a 2021 yearly sponsorship, which meant Captain Brads would be supporting Boots For Troops mission year round. The support for the community doesn’t stop with Boots For Troops. Brittney also supports other local initiatives such as Tomball & Klein ISD, Camp Hope, Toys for Tots and The Greater Area Tomball Chamber of Commerce.
I made a point to go into the restaurant and show my support in return for the generosity Brittney and her team have showed Boots For Troops. I am proud to know the people behind the scenes. The staff, the owner, and the customers. What I realized by showing my support, is how much I genuinely loved the food and atmosphere, and how special this restaurant really was. Below I have listed some of my favorite menu items, that I highly encourage you all to try. When you visit make sure to ask for Brittney and tell her THANK YOU for her support of the community and Boots for Troops.
To learn more about Boots for Troops visit Boots4Troops.org and get involved today!
For more information on Captain Brad’s please visit Captainbrads.com
Lindsey’s Menu Favorites:
Stacked Green Tomatoes
topped with lump crab, house-made remoulade & gouda
Chicken & Sausage Gumbo
Grilled Salmon with rice & veggies
The Costal Margarita
Crawfish with potatoes, sausage, mushrooms & ravioli