Sometimes a modest storefront in a strip mall can conceal a real culinary delight. Once such delight is the San Felipe Restaurante Mexicano in Leland, North Carolina. The restaurant is located in the Walmart Shopping Center off of US 17 across from the Waterford community. From the front, the restaurant appears to be nothing special. However, once you go inside, you are greeted by friendly servers and warmly, modern, Mexican-inspired decor. While the outside is mere glass and aluminum, the inside has brick walls, a high ceiling with wooden beams, and even a modest, but calming, water feature. The interior design of San Felipe evokes Mexico without feeling cliché. Diners can sit in booths or at tables. The wooden booths have high backs to ensure the privacy of conversations. But, large screen televisions placed strategically high in the corners of the restaurant bring a casual air to dining experience. They allow a glance at the big game, without dominating the room. San Felipe is simply a comfortable neighborhood restaurant.
Of course, great atmosphere without great food would be meaningless. However, the first bowl of fresh tortilla chips and salsa lets diners know that San Felipe Mexican Restaurant will serve great food. The salsa is obviously fresh and the chips are never stale. The menu is extensive and covers plenty of traditional Mexican dishes. My favorite is the aptly named “San Felipe Super.” Five fantastic enchiladas are the main feature. Each enchilada highlights an ingredient: cheese, ground beef, steak, chicken, or beans. The dish is generously topped with a tasty red sauce, a little shredded lettuce, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream. If you are looking for a basic satisfying meal, you simply can’t go wrong with the San Felipe Super.
If you are a little more adventurous, you might try San Felipe’s spicy shrimp dish: Camerones a la Diabla. If you truly want Shrimp of the Devil, you can have them hot and experience fiery Mexican peppers. But, my wife prefers them at a mild level of spiciness. A this dialed back level, Camerones a la Diabla provides a little kick and a whole lot of flavor. The shrimp fajitas at San Felipe Mexican Restaurant are also highly recommended. Both dishes provide generous numbers of shrimp.
We found the service at San Felipe Mexican Restaurant to be just as outstanding as the food. The waiters are prompt and polite and keep drinks, chips, and salsa coming while you enjoy your meal. A dinner for three consisting of the San Felipe Super, Camerones a la Diabla, Shrimp Fajitas and beverages ran about $45 in June of 2009. This San Felipe Mexican Restaurant location is most convenient for residents of Leland, newcomers settling in Waterford or Magnolia Greens, and tourists visiting the nearby U.S.S. North Carolina battleship. This is the eighth location for the San Felipe Restaurant Chain. If you find one in your neighborhood, give them a try, your tastebuds will probably thank you!
San Felipe Restaurante Mexicano
1114 New Point Blvd, Ste 140
Leland, NC 28315