Kirbie's Cravings

Carnitas Snack Shack

I’ve heard so much good buzz about Carnitas Snack Shack this year that I knew I had to try it before the year was over. I even blocked out a spot for it on my calendar.

The “shack” is set up like a small taco stand. You place your order in the front, and then walk around to the side where you can grab a seat on the patio. Carnitas Snack Shack specializes in slow cooked foods with an emphasis on pork. The name Carnitas comes from the owners’ mini pet pig bearing the same name.

The menu changes often and the menu of the day is written on the board. They also have a separate dessert menu with quite a few bacon and boozy dessert options.

Pork Belly App

This is probably their most famous dish and I knew I couldn’t come here without trying it. We were served a healthy serving of pork belly topped with a sweet chili glaze. The glaze was more sweet than spicy, but it worked.

Slightly crispy on the outside and melty fat on the inside. I could see why this would be so popular. It’s one of the better versions of pork belly I’ve had. I also enjoyed the apple radish salad.

Shack Carnitas

I don’t know if you can tell from the picture, but each soft taco was absolutely stuffed with with moist shredded pork. I would have liked the pork to be slightly more seasoned but still enjoyed these.

Shack Burger

Served on a grilled bun, with a layer of bacon jam in the middle. DH loved the bacon jam.

Seasoned Fries

I thought the fries were too heavy on the seasoning and found them quite salty.

I had a hard time selecting only one dessert as each one sounded good. In the end we chose the Bacon Brittle Ice Cream Sandwich.

I really enjoyed this. The sandwich cookies were actually thin layers of fudgy brownies. The ice cream was studded with bacon brittle. I would get this one again, though I also want to try more desserts next time around as well.

We had a nice time here. The atmosphere is very relaxed and it was fun to eat outside. We found the menu items creative and are curious to see some of their other offerings. Neither DH or I felt extremely passionate about our experience, but it was a good time and we’d come back again at some point.

Carnitas Snack Shack
2632 University Avenue
San Diego, CA 92104
Carnitas' Snack Shack on Urbanspoon

14 comments on “Carnitas Snack Shack”

  1. the bacon brittle ice cream sandwich sounds pretty good! I know my husband would like that. the one time we went here, getting a seat in the back patio was a free for all with certain people not respecting that people were waiting in line before them for a seat, but other than that, we loved the food – the pork sandwich (pork three ways – breaded, shredded and with bacon) and their mac and cheese. i’d go back again to try that pork belly app.

    • I can definitely see the seating being an issue. Lucky for us, when we went for lunch, there were still plenty of open seats. I like that the menu changes, but also it means I miss out on some of the stuff I wanted to try. Heh

  2. Oh I like this place! Last time we got the pork torta and burger, I think. I do think the fries were a bit heavy but otherwise I liked everything. Need to return for the pork belly app!

  3. I had really wanted the burger, but my husband talked me into have pork (“how could you not have pork at a place called Carnitas Shack?”). So we had the sandwich and carnitas tacos. Must go again to get that pork belly!

    • Haha. DH liked the burger more than I did. I liked the bacon jam but overall the burger was just okay to me. Yes, try the pork belly. It’s not the best pork belly ever but it’s a pretty good one.

  4. SAVED. slapping this onto my to-dine list. Thanks for the post.

  5. I’m ashamed I have no reason not having visited yet as I live so close. The pork belly looks great but I don’t think I can have it without a bowl of steamed rice! haha.

    • It’s a bit on the sweet side, but pretty tasty. I kind of wish they would try a savory version too. You should definitely visit the place when you get a chance.

  6. LOVE the Carnitas Snack Shack. PS. Your pictures are making me so hungry! I shouldn’t be looking at this so close to lunch.

  7. This place has, undeniably, the best meat centered cuisine in most of SD. Just be prepared to eat and zone out in bliss.

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