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  • Writer's pictureMohammed Fuad

Puerto Rican restaurant El Morro opens

THG/Mohammed Fuad. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940. Pictured (l-r): Alex, Denali, Jessica and Eliezer Camargo pose together inside their family-owned restaurant, El Morro.

On Egg Harbor Road by the railroad tracks stands a family restaurant just scratching the surface. Opened more than a month ago, El Morro Restaurant serves homemade Puerto Rican foods and dishes and is operated by the Camargo family. The Hammonton community has shown plenty of support in their short existence so far.

While the family has been pleased with the strong turnout, they still have one goal in mind: to continue growing the restaurant.

“I’ve been really happy about this, I want this to grow. I really want to get a bigger place,” Eliezer Camargo said.

“The way we’re going, I think we’re gonna make it.”

Eliezer’s wife, Jessica, agreed.

“This is just a start for us but we have more plans to progress and to bring more,” Jessica Camargo said.

“That’s what I look forward to: to just progress, to grow and just to get better.”

Jessica also had a vision for El Morro’s future and what she’d like to add to help grow the restaurant. She would like to start breakfasts and bring different platters from the island, as she described Puerto Rico.

She has enjoyed making the food and seeing the joyful expressions from people.

“They’re like ‘Finally, there’s a place that we can come to and eat from our country. It’s been a long time,’” Jessica said.

Open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., El Morro serves homemade Puerto Rican dishes fresh from the kitchen.

Serving dishes ranging from mofongo with shrimp or octopus, pork chops, white and yellow rice, Eliezer wanted to showcase the homemade recipes made by his grandmother and wife.

Since other restaurants had their own line of food like tacos, Eliezer wanted to be different and bring his own line of food.

“I wanted to bring some kind of Puerto Rican food, something different so that there’s no competition,” Eliezer joked.

As their son, Alex, said, it’s a big change in their lives but a good one.

“For the month we’ve been here, with the support we’ve had and with everything going on, I mean it’s a great turnout,” Alex said.

“For a small business in a month, we’re definitely doing it a lot better than most would so that’s definitely the outcome I’d be happy about.”

For their daughter, Denali, she understands the importance of working together as a family in order for the restaurant to progress and enjoy this, knowing how important this is to her mother.

“I think it’s amazing how we all can come together as a family and run this whole place,” Denali said.

“As difficult as it is, fresh new start, not a lot of people get this chance. I think it’s great that my mom finally gets that opening for a restaurant.”

Eliezer also understands the importance of keeping everything cleaned. He makes sure that the restaurant is clean and makes it a point that if something like the restaurant’s doors are dirty, then it reflects upon them. But when it comes to wasting food, Eliezer doesn’t believe in that because other countries do not have enough resources to either have or make food. Instead of throwing it out at the end of the night, he tries to give back to those who need it.

“There’s a homeless guy that comes and asks if there’s any leftovers, I make sure to feed him,” Eliezer concluded.

For more information, call (609) 270-7874.


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