El Camaron Feliz

Mexican | Seafood | Tex-Mex
excellent
Worth a detour
Michael Stern | October 07, 2019
Save

English is barely a second language at El Camaron Feliz; but even if you don’t speak Spanish — as do the staff and nearly all customers — the folks here are patient and helpful. And the menu includes English descriptions of every dish.

As you can infer from the restaurant’s name, shrimp are its claim to fame. And they are happy indeed (camaron feliz = happy shrimp), served with heads, tails, legs, and fragile carapace intact, ready to be peeled. They come in very hot spicy red sauce (“a la diabla”), moderately hot and smoky chipotle sauce, garlic-butter sauce, or Mexican sautee sauce of onions, tomatoes, and jalapeno peppers. And they are available fried. It’s a messy, multiple-napkin job to retrieve the meat of the whole ones, but it is worth it, for these are big, firm pinkies, so densely flavorful that even the zestiest sauces do not overwhelm their essential marine sweetness.

One page of the menu is devoted to flatfish as well as shrimp. Here you find whole fried tilapia, fish with devil sauce or garlic-butter sauce, and one grand preparation titled Cielo, Mar Y Tierra that includes fried chicken, grilled steak, mussels, and shrimp in chipotle sauce.

Seafood frowners needn’t worry. El Camaron Feliz delivers an expertly made repertoire of such Tex-Mex standards as burritos, tacos, chimichangas, fajitas, sopes, and tortas. And there are large lunch & dinner plates with rice, refried beans and pico de gallo. On these, you can have steak in sauces of varying flavor and degrees of heat, chicken grilled or fried, or carnitas. The carnitas are my favorite: big, flavor-saturated hunks of slow-roasted pork so tender that the slightest fork-tug separates a glistening mouthful.

Note that breakfast is served starting every day at 10:30am. The menu includes huevos rancheros, eggs scrambled with cactus chunks, and chorizo sausage.

What to Eat
El Camaron Feliz, Chipotle Shrimp
Chipotle Shrimp
Must-Try
Enchipotlados: Spicy chipotle sauce cossets U-peel-'em shrimp.
El Camaron Feliz, Shrimp a la Diabla
Shrimp a la Diabla
Must-Try
Shrimp a la diabla truly are devilish in their hot, smoky sauce.
El Camaron Feliz, Carnitas
Carnitas
Must-Try
Carnitas is large chunks of ridiculously succulent, long-roasted pork.
El Camaron Feliz, Pico de Gallo
Pico de Gallo
Must-Try
Pico de gallo packs serious jalapeno punch.
El Camaron Feliz, Sope al Pastor
Sope al Pastor
Must-Try
Sope al pastor is topped with ripe avocado.
El Camaron Feliz, Chips & Salsa
Chips & Salsa
Salsa with chips is surprisingly mild.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Information
Price
$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Yes
Alcohol Served
No
Outdoor Seating
No

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • Variety Restaurant

    Aiken, South Carolina

    Portions are huge, service is old-style hospitable at the Variety, a favorite of South Carolina square-meals eaters who know good steaks and fresh seafood.

  • Gary’s Hamburgers

    North Augusta, South Carolina

    Cooked to order, Gary’s fine hamburgers and catfish aren’t exactly fast food, but they are casual, cheap, and fun. Breakfast biscuits are fine, too.

  • Terra

    West Columbia, South Carolina

    Beautiful dishes creatively prepared with local ingredients and worldly savoir faire make Terra a food lover’s gem. The setting is casual, service impeccable.

  • Abel Brown

    Augusta, Georgia

    Oysters at their best star at Abel Brown’s, where the Southern-Kitchen menu also features brilliant steak. It’s not cheap, but it’s Augusta’s finest.

  • Thai Jasmine Rice

    Aiken, South Carolina

    “Welcome to Thailand,” is emblazoned on the door of Thai Jasmine Rice, which offers a broad, colorful menu of pad Thai, curries, stir-fries & noodle dishes.

  • Sno Cap Drive-In

    North Augusta, South Carolina

    Sno Cap is a stylish vintage drive-in with artisan standards: juicy hamburgers, great French fries, legendary cole slaw & root beer floats in frosted mugs.