My first time at La Camaronera in Little Havana happened when one of the first food trucks in Miami parked in a lot near them. I walked over to take a gander at what was going on inside. The place was packed, and there were no seats. It only had a standing counter space.
I decided right then that I would return with my Dad in tow to check this place out, aka eat the good stuff. He had been to La Camaronera before so I was the rookie this time around.
We ordered the Bollitos de Carita (Black-eyed Pea Fritters) to start with. I really couldn’t explain much to you about them other than the fact that they’re very addictive. The fritters are ground beans, after all. While I ordered the Camarones Fritos (Fried Shrimp), my pops had the Original Pan con Minuta (Fried Snapper Sandwich).
The breaded shrimp were very crispy and delicious. The shrimp are tossed in a ketchup-based sauce, breaded and then fried. I had never heard of a ketchup-based breading technique, but hey, it works. The Original Pan con Minuta (minuta means that they butterfly cut the fish) still has its tail attached. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that some people eat the tail (actually I know they do).
The sandwich is topped with chopped onions, ketchup, and tartar sauce on a fresh and squishy Cuban bread roll. Great combination of flavors that can only be beaten if you add a tab of their housemade hot sauce.
I liked the fried shrimp so much ordered it in sandwich form, the Camaronera Sandwich as it is known. It also has the chopped onions, ketchup, and tartar sauce on a Cuban bread roll. While the breaded shrimp again was great, the sandwich took it to another level. You’d think I was done, but I wasn’t. It was Key Lime pie time.
The Pie was creamy and tart. I loved it because it was a great way to end the meal.
One other piece of important information, La Camaronera also functions as a fresh seafood market. Plus, you can pick a fish out of the refrigerated case and have them fry it for you right there.
A few years after my initial visit La Camaronera opened up an addition next door with tables and table service, It was originally a stand at the counter kinda to eat kinda deal since the restaurant opened its doors in 1976.
If you’re from out of town and want to take in a unique Miami experience with great food, then this is the place for you. La Camaronera is a landmark in Miami, so for those of you from South Florida who have never been here, for shame.