By Lisa Petrillo

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It is the ultimate Cuban fish fry at La Camaronera Fish Joint and Seafood Market in Little Havana.

It’s a family owned favorite and hidden gem of locals since – are you ready?

“We’ve been here 43 years,” said owner David Garcia. “It was only U-shaped counters and people used to eat only standing up, we didn’t have any stools, people ate at the counters, it was definitely unique.”

The business began in Havana, Cuba where Garcia’s father, Arsenio, and his 10 brothers caught fish, filleted them and sold them.

“This is something we used to do right across the street from our house in Cuba, we were a family of fishermen” he said. “We used to have a fruit cart and we’d sell this and the black eyed pea fritters we do now.”

In 1966, after leaving Castro’s Cuba, they began their small fish business in a strip mall off W Flagler Street. While a lot has changed since it was a ‘stand up and eat’ shop, a lot has remained the same.

“Since we’ve been here 43 years families have been able to come back with their kids who are now older and we are catering to everyone now,” said Garcia.

The food is definitely what keeps them coming back.

The iconic eight dollar “minuto sandwich” is made with Keys caught yellowtail snapper that is breaded, flash fried and served on a Cuban roll – with the tail on.

“Now I know why its the biggest seller,” said CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo after taking a bite. “It’s a super tender, fresh, juicy fish, but then that fry on outside and the tail make it crunchy with the Cuban bread on the outside.”

Next up, Gulf caught grilled shrimp served with sautéed onions and salad.

“The shrimp is so fresh and then with the grilled onions that give it crunch, it tastes like it just came out of the water,” Petrillo said.

Another crowd pleaser is a whole yellowtail snapper, which has been carved into bite sized pieces, served with fresh lime.

“You would not know this fried. It’s light and flaky, the lime adds some zip. It’s probably the best fried fish I’ve ever had,“ said Petrillo.

La Camaronera where fresh fried fish and family go hand in hand.

La Camaronera is opened 7 days a week.


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