Mexican restaurant Qué Pasó Camarón? open in Fresno CA

[ad_1]

In the back of El Toro Loco supermarket in Fresno, between the Gatorade and the seafood counter, is a little Mexican restaurant with a lot going on.

For starters, its name is Qué Pasó Camarón?

That loosely translates to, “What’s happening, shrimp?”

The restaurant is essentially a counter with three tables inside the grocery store at Shields and West avenues. Most people take their food to go.

The menu is handwritten and includes a little bit of everything: quesabirria tacos, asada fries, burritos, tortas, ceviche and breakfast enchiladas. Almost everything is $12.99 or less.

On the weekends, you’ll find owners Mireya Ramirez and her husband Miguel Castro cooking in a tent out front of the market. The couple make menudo, carnitas and birria. Another woman makes tortillas on the spot.

“They’re just so friendly to customers,” said Don Rotella, director of public relations for the store.

“They get a lot of business from cars passing by, and even homeless people,” with passersby sometimes buying food for them, Rotella noted.

The restaurant name

So why name a restaurant Qué Pasó Camarón?

It’s a phrase that’s tossed around a lot at home, said Ramirez. They have an 18-year-old daughter.

Shrimp was a bit of a nickname between her husband and daughter.

They’d all be relaxing and one of them would come home and the other would say, “Qué pasó, camarón?” — “What’s up, shrimp?”

The couple had years and years of experience in the restaurant industry, and sometimes talked of starting their own spot.

Ramirez said: “When we have our first place, we’re going to name it Qué Pasó, Camarón?”

FRS_EPZ_QUEPASO_CAMARON_01
Qué pasó Camarón? co-owner Mireya Ramirez, right, holds forth the popular Mangonero Shrimp special which her husband Miguel Castro created, while public relations manager Don Rotella stands in the background Thursday, April 14, 2022 in Fresno. Qué pasó Camarón? is located inside and at the back of El Toro Loco Market, offering Mexican food for dine-in or takeout near Shields and West avenues. ERIC PAUL ZAMORA ezamora@fresnobee.com

She was a server at Denny’s for 15 years. Her husband was a cook at various Mexican restaurants.

They both got laid off during the pandemic. They started selling food “to survive” to friends.

“We started getting busy, busy, busy,” Ramirez said.

Since that seemed to be working, they decided to open inside the grocery store about three months ago. It’s just the two of them most of the time, working six days a week.

Shrimp

Castro specializes in shrimp, too.

It’s such a part of the identity here that two winking shrimp giving thumbs up and wearing chefs’ hats are part of the logo.

The shrimp mangonero is a favorite, made with chunks of mango and a habanero sauce and sides of rice and a salad with avocado. It has heat, but not enough to obscure the flavor.

FRS_EPZ_QUEPASO_CAMARON_02
The mangonero shrimp, made with habanero chilis is a popular dish at Qué Pasó Camarón?, located inside and at the back of El Toro Loco Market near Shields and West Avenues. Photographed Thursday, April 14, 2022 in Fresno. ERIC PAUL ZAMORA ezamora@fresnobee.com

“We really like our customers to be happy with us,” Ramirez said. “A lot of people come in, they say, ‘Just surprise me.’”

Their goodwill isn’t all just talk, either.

The couple donates prepared food to three nearby churches, who hand it out to disadvantage folks who could use it.

Together with the store, they’ve also donated money to nearby schools for special needs students to take field trips to Chaffee Zoo.

Details: Qué Pasó Camarón? is inside El Toro Loco at 1405 W. Shields Ave. Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (and sometimes a little later) Saturdays and Sundays. 559-371-3141.

.

FRS_EPZ_QUEPASO_CAMARON_06
Chicken enchiladas montadas at Qué Pasó Camarón? includes fried eggs with beans and rice. Photographed Thursday, April 14, 2022 in Fresno. ERIC PAUL ZAMORA ezamora@fresnobee.com

FRS_EPZ_QUEPASO_CAMARON_03
The steak ranchero is another popular dish at Qué Pasó Camarón? Photographed Thursday, April 14, 2022 in Fresno. ERIC PAUL ZAMORA ezamora@fresnobee.com

This story was originally published April 20, 2022 10:57 AM.

Related stories from Fresno Bee

Bethany Clough covers restaurants and retail for The Fresno Bee. A reporter for 20 years, she now works to answer readers’ questions about business openings, closings and other business news. She has a degree in journalism from Syracuse University and her last name is pronounced Cluff.



[ad_2]

Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.