By Anna-Marie Menhenott
FORT PIERCE -- You don't have to travel across the ocean to step into a tropical oasis or sail the seven seas in order to come face to face with a pirate.
Sand, sun, wenches and whiskey are all within reach at one of Fort Pierce's newest hot spots; Captain Jax Sandbar and Grill.
I visited the sandbar on a warm, breezy Saturday afternoon. The décor made me feel as if I stepped out of my car and onto a deserted island full of treasures. The motif includes pirates, parrots, tiki huts, treasure chests and a friendly wait staff who all look the part.
The spacious outside seating area includes a sound stage that plays host nightly entertainment.
As my dining companion and I were seated at a large tiki table, we noticed the sound of reggae music quietly filling the air.
"We really want everyone to enjoy the atmosphere," said Samantha Reed, our waitress for the afternoon. "It's a laidback, friendly atmosphere. People stop by on their bikes after a ride, after spending their day at the beach or in the evening time for some live music and cold beer. It's a great environment."
The relaxing environment was only the beginning of our adventure into the land of pirates. As soon as lunch was served, we knew this place had what it takes to turn locals into regulars looking a spot to enjoy sunny afternoons and breezy evenings.
Our waitress brought out an appetizer of coconut shrimp, fried crispy with a spicy raspberry dipping sauce that accentuated the tasty treats perfectly. The large shrimp also came with an orange mandarin dipping sauce. Either sauce was a terrific compliment to the appetizer.
Our lunches were served quickly and looked amazing. The Mahi margarita tacos were served with beans and rice and a lime tartar sauce which brought out the flavor of the fish. Topping included cheese, salsa, jalapenos and lettuce.
My dining companion chose the buccaneer beef sandwich with fries. The Chicago style meat was incredibly tender and was served on ciabatta garlic bread.
The sandwich was served with a side of au jus which complemented the flavorful meat. I definitely recommend trying the sandwich that way.
Other show-stopping menu items are the fried portabella mushrooms which are topped with browned cheese and served with a side of marinara.
There are catchy names like a Davey Jones basket of shrimp, a salty dog, shark bait, the cannonball, ropes end, the pirate burger, the crow's nest and the treasure chest make the menu stand out. All menu items sound delicious and I can't wait to go back and try more of them.
Each night there's different entertainment including Wench Wednesdays, Captain Jax reggae Sundays, Thursday night bike nights, and live music on the weekends.
Captain Jax is located at 658 N. Second Street, in Fort Pierce. They are open seven days a week.