A couple months ago, the hand model and I visited our friends down in San Diego. Knowing I'm a major foodie, they gave me a few options to choose from, and I couldn't resist the Carnitas' Snack Shack.
I've always been intrigued by "underground" and "speakeasy" restaurants. And, Carnitas' in North Park is kinda the same idea with a taco stand storefront that you'd totally miss just driving by.
Stand in line amongst the diverse crowd of hipsters, surfers & refined foodies, and you'll notice you're not in Kansas anymore. (Especially after ordering menu items like the locally-sourced Beet Terrine and slow-cooked Pork Belly.) Walk 'round back and a sanctuary of rural woods and green garden awaits you.
If you've never been, this weekend's the perfect time to go because Carnitas' is just 12 minutes from San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, where Get Stoked Film Tours will be screening ski & snowboard films to rev up for winter. On Saturday, October 12th at the Art Theater, check out Level 1 Production's "Partly Cloudy" and Mountain High's "Woodworth" at either 5:30pm or 8:00pm.
- 1 General Admission Ticket includes Anytime 2-for-1 Mountain High Lift Ticket, Complimentary 1-year Subscription to Freeskier or Snowboard Magazine, and a Clif Bar $16.50
- 1 VIP Ticket includes everything above PLUS 1 Beer or Wine Voucher $20.00
- heaven, best thing on menu, soft 'n spicy buttery bread with sink your teeth into steak, Snack Shack Sliced Rib-eye Steak Sandwich with Pepper Jack, Tomato, Pickled Serrano & Chipotle Aioli on Jalapeno Bread $9
- different with a sweetness I couldn't put my finger on, perhaps coconut?, Corn Relish complimentary
- heavy balsamic, sweet syrupy & soy, Braised Duroc Pork Belly with Frisee Salad, Apples, Radish & Lemon Vinaigrette $8
- Pepperoncini-Pickle Relish steals the show as pork was a little dry, Triple Threat Pork Sandwich with Pork Loin Schnitzel, Pulled Pork, Bacon, and Aioli $9
- meat is super tender and loaded with Guac, unfortunately the Tortilla was stiff, Hill Family Farms Pork Carnitas Tacos 2 for $7
- old school, Chili dusted, you'll want to order two like everyone else, Side of Seasoned Fries with Bacon Tomato Puree/Ketchup $2.50
- salty 'n rich, Chocolate Caramel Pretzel
- girl scout Samoa good, dare I say it didn't even need the Chocolate, ooey gooey center, Coconut Macaroon
The one thing I found consistent here was these guys know their meats and breads. There's too much good stuff to try, so come with a bunch of friends and share. (Although you may be fighting over that slice of Jalapeno heaven.) On the down side, don't even think about drinking wine. Stick to the local craft beers instead.
2632 University Avenue, San Diego, CA 92104. 619-294-7675.