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Carnitas Snack Shack..

Beach Chick Jan 26, 2012 06:49 AM

I don't eat the stuff but this sure looks good..


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  1. s
    stevewag23 RE: Beach Chick Jan 26, 2012 10:27 AM

    Good tip.

    Looks like it took over the old Vo's Cafe location.

    1. jmtreg RE: Beach Chick Jan 26, 2012 10:28 AM

      I had the pork sandwich (pulled pork, bacon, fried pork loin cutlet), which was obviously porky, and had an interesting melange of textures, but would have been too much pork had there not been the sour pickle and pepper relish.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jmtreg
        MrKrispy RE: jmtreg Jan 26, 2012 01:06 PM

        Agreed, it was a pork cavalcade but at the end of the meal I had the [very] rare opinion of something have TOO much pork. My GF had the carnitas tacos which were quite fat and very well done. I look forward to returning to force the rest of the menu thru my arteries.

      2. c
        cstr RE: Beach Chick Jan 26, 2012 11:33 AM

        Nice presentation of their menu, is this enough to get you over to the 'dark side'? Nice Pulled Pork Poutine!!

        5 Replies
        1. re: cstr
          Beach Chick RE: cstr Jan 26, 2012 12:46 PM

          Never been into eating meat...but love that you all are into it and the menu/pics look great.
          They have a veggie dish and the jalapeno bread looks delicious.
          When are you going so you can report back?

          Wishing them all the best...love the North 'Pork' reference..

          1. re: Beach Chick
            Island RE: Beach Chick Jan 26, 2012 01:27 PM

            "Never been into eating meat"

            But Beach Chick aren't you the Patty Melt Maven?
            If not then I've been blaming the wrong person for my new found food obsession!

            1. re: Island
              Beach Chick RE: Island Jan 26, 2012 03:51 PM

              Yes sista..I am the Patty Melt Maven!

              I love my Patty Melts but I do a garden burger and gussy it up just like a PM..
              I order them at restaurants this way too...they are so frigging good!
              I do eat an occasional double double with extra sauce and grilled onions maybe once a year but half way through I just can't finish it...same with the Patty Melt thing.
              Weird I know.

              Let the blame game for the love of the beloved Patty Melt start and end with me..

            2. re: Beach Chick
              stevewag23 RE: Beach Chick Jan 26, 2012 03:17 PM

              Yeah, I thought you were Patty Melt Bonkers?

              1. re: stevewag23
                Beach Chick RE: stevewag23 Jan 26, 2012 03:46 PM

                Bonkers for Patty Melt's...love that!

          2. z
            zmirzlina RE: Beach Chick Jan 26, 2012 03:00 PM

            Usually have a veggie special of the day that's very well executed and tasty. Sometimes I even chose it over sweet sweet pork.

            1 Reply
            1. re: zmirzlina
              Beach Chick RE: zmirzlina Jan 26, 2012 03:52 PM

              Love that they have a 'Veggie Special' of the day...and that you chose it over the sweet sweet Pork.

            2. c
              Charlie SanDiego RE: Beach Chick Jan 26, 2012 03:17 PM

              I'm quite pleased with the spot thus far. The pork belly, carnitas torta, and the salads have all been spot on goodness. The only curiosity is they take the time to make their own ketchup but not their own salsa. Hopefully they will come to their senses. Alas all should go forth and sample their fare.

              1. s
                sdnosh RE: Beach Chick Jan 26, 2012 04:32 PM

                Loving the Carnitas Snack Shack! I had the steak sandwich on the brioche - fabulous. I also really like the corn side/relish that came on the side. My friend had to pork sandwich and I it was great also. The fries were good but not the best I ever had. The lack of indoor seating is made up by a cool patio and ample heaters. My only complaint, and it's a small one, is the lack of salt and pepper anywhere. I know this is a chef thing, but I still contend seasoning is like music, everyone has different taste.

                1. mrbigshotno.1 RE: Beach Chick Jan 26, 2012 04:49 PM

                  I was born and raised in Tucson, whats the deal with french fries? We never had this stuff before. Things change I guess.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: mrbigshotno.1
                    honkman RE: mrbigshotno.1 Jan 26, 2012 05:34 PM

                    It's really annoying if restaurants come up with new things.

                    1. re: honkman
                      mrbigshotno.1 RE: honkman Jan 27, 2012 05:57 AM

                      French fries in tamales? C'mon man!

                      1. re: mrbigshotno.1
                        Beach Chick RE: mrbigshotno.1 Jan 27, 2012 06:35 AM

                        Where do you see fries in tamales...am I missing something?

                        1. re: Beach Chick
                          mrbigshotno.1 RE: Beach Chick Jan 27, 2012 12:07 PM

                          They've cropped up all over the place in southern AZ. There's been quite a number of carcenerias open up in the last few years, thats where they usually are.

                  2. Fake Name RE: Beach Chick Jan 27, 2012 05:10 AM

                    So- it's just me who finds the food underseasoned and bland? I like the people behind it, they've done a great job with the space. Their ingredients are obviously high quality, I like they are trying new and interesting dishes, but I'm underwhelmed with the flavors.

                    17 Replies
                    1. re: Fake Name
                      Beach Chick RE: Fake Name Jan 27, 2012 06:33 AM

                      Super Sergio's has set the bar really high..
                      Maybe the veggie dish of the day is the seasoned ticket!

                      1. re: Fake Name
                        stevewag23 RE: Fake Name Jan 27, 2012 08:23 AM

                        Yeah, this almost seems like a high quality food truck idea, with out the truck. Cool idea.

                        So what is the verdict on this place?

                        Good, Bad, great?

                        1. re: stevewag23
                          Fake Name RE: stevewag23 Jan 27, 2012 08:28 AM

                          Great decor- very nicely done.
                          Nice people.

                          1. re: Fake Name
                            Beach Chick RE: Fake Name Jan 27, 2012 08:37 AM

                            Do they have beer and wine yet?

                            Steve..when you go, report back..loved to know your take..

                            1. re: Beach Chick
                              Fake Name RE: Beach Chick Jan 27, 2012 08:47 AM

                              Dunno. Last time I went, I dashed over to the dive liquor store across the street for a tall boy and a paper sack.

                              1. re: Fake Name
                                Beach Chick RE: Fake Name Jan 27, 2012 08:48 AM

                                solid...nothing like a tall boy in a paper sack.

                          2. re: stevewag23
                            Charlie SanDiego RE: stevewag23 Jan 27, 2012 08:37 AM

                            After having tried only three things, and incorporating my above comments, I say "good" with potential to be great for what they are doing i. e. gourmet quick serve ala Burger Lounge. They're new & will have to tweek things a little bit to do the volume they need. Fakey is correct that they need more seasoning or as I said more home made sauces to compliment the perfectly prepared meats. After all people, a carnitas torta wants more than a Tapatio accent.

                            1. re: Charlie SanDiego
                              DiningDiva RE: Charlie SanDiego Jan 27, 2012 12:10 PM

                              A carnitas torta wants to go "ahogada"...

                            2. re: stevewag23
                              Josh RE: stevewag23 Jan 27, 2012 03:37 PM

                              Some stuff is good. I had one thing that was really bad, but only because of one ingredient applied with a much too heavy hand.

                            3. re: Fake Name
                              Josh RE: Fake Name Jan 27, 2012 03:36 PM

                              It's not just you. I find liberal application of the Crystal hot sauce is needed.

                              1. re: Fake Name
                                4thTimesTheCharm RE: Fake Name Jun 15, 2012 08:08 AM

                                I left feeling very impressed upon my first visit. Didn't think anything we had wanted for any seasoning.

                                For once, a truly unique concept. Love the understated "taco stand" storefront and ordering, a striking, architecturally designed and sheltered dining area, a dynamic menu, very fair prices with an unexpected attention to presentation, and actual flatware and porcelain plates!

                                Glad it's not in my neighborhood, as I'd likely spend too many of my meals there.

                                1. re: 4thTimesTheCharm
                                  stevewag23 RE: 4thTimesTheCharm Jun 19, 2012 08:41 AM

                                  "Love the understated "taco stand" storefront and ordering, a striking, architecturally designed and sheltered dining area"

                                  Those were a hold over from Vo's.

                                  1. re: stevewag23
                                    sdnosh RE: stevewag23 Jun 19, 2012 03:41 PM

                                    Is the all wood sheltered dining area a hold over from Vo's? I thought I read somewhere that it was put in the chef and his wife.

                                    1. re: sdnosh
                                      stevewag23 RE: sdnosh Jun 20, 2012 11:45 AM

                                      They might have redone it, but the structure is a holdover from Vo's.

                                      1. re: stevewag23
                                        Fake Name RE: stevewag23 Jun 20, 2012 01:33 PM

                                        Actually, it predates Vo's- it was left by the taco shop before Vo's.

                                        1. re: Fake Name
                                          stevewag23 RE: Fake Name Jun 20, 2012 03:04 PM

                                          Good call.

                                          What was the name?

                                          1. re: stevewag23
                                            Cathy RE: stevewag23 Jun 20, 2012 03:44 PM

                                            It had been Tio Tito, Los Charrito and Cotija...with a "Drive Thrue" lane...

                              2. Fake Name RE: Beach Chick Jun 15, 2012 05:21 AM

                                Had the opportunity to revisit CSS yesterday, and I really enjoyed my meal. I had the Pork Burger, despite my burger boycott, and was very happy.

                                LONG wait for service, but they warn you at the counter, and it not that they're slacking in the kitchen. They work HARD in a very small space.

                                I'll go back, but off prime-times.

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: Fake Name
                                  cstr RE: Fake Name Jun 15, 2012 07:05 AM

                                  probably can't throw that 'porkie burger' in the general burger category.

                                  1. re: cstr
                                    Fake Name RE: cstr Jun 15, 2012 07:09 AM

                                    Yeah, I felt it did not fit within the definition of "over-played", the reason for my boycott. Last year it was mac and cheese also short ribs.

                                    1. re: Fake Name
                                      Beach Chick RE: Fake Name Jun 15, 2012 07:21 AM

                                      Did you notice while you were waiting and perusing the menu, did they have a 'pork like plant based' product that something this chica could eat?

                                      1. re: Beach Chick
                                        Fake Name RE: Beach Chick Jun 15, 2012 08:04 AM

                                        I did not notice. They serve a corn relish with the burger.

                                        I think you'd be happier at the Celery Snack Shack.

                                        1. re: Fake Name
                                          Beach Chick RE: Fake Name Jun 15, 2012 08:12 AM

                                          Celery Snack Shack...love that!
                                          You're giving the beloved Don Rickles a run for his money..
                                          I love teeing it up so Fakey can be big man on campus and hit it out of the park!

                                          1. re: Beach Chick
                                            4thTimesTheCharm RE: Beach Chick Jun 15, 2012 08:27 AM

                                            Looking for the "like" button...

                                        2. re: Beach Chick
                                          cstr RE: Beach Chick Jun 15, 2012 08:06 AM

                                          can't wait to see what the infamous FN comes up with.

                                          1. re: cstr
                                            Fake Name RE: cstr Jun 15, 2012 08:21 AM

                                            You are all too kind.

                                            I just figure I'm fortunate to still be here.

                                  2. i
                                    Idyllwild RE: Beach Chick Jun 25, 2012 04:02 PM

                                    For those who like Carnitas (I'm definitely in this group), or those who are curious, I saw that the chef will be doing a cooking demonstration at the North Park farmers' market this Thursday from 5-7. Good chance to sample some great cooking.


                                    1. ipsedixit RE: Beach Chick Jan 20, 2013 04:28 PM

                                      I like this place.

                                      Great burger, although I did not care for the bacon jam, the patty had just the right texture and cooked to perfection. I have to go back and try the steak sandwich.

                                      The pork belly was way too rich, if pork belly can be too fatty, then this was it. The sauce was also icky sweet. Sweet globs of fat ... Not a good thing.

                                      I had a bite of the carnitas it was very rich but much better than the pork belly.

                                      Meal was topped off with some chocolate truffles and the bacon brittle ice cream sandwich.

                                      (And Beach Chick I spied a beet terrine and some crispy brussel sprouts on the chalkboard...)

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: ipsedixit
                                        DiningDiva RE: ipsedixit Jan 20, 2013 04:54 PM

                                        Try the BLT; like it too :-)

                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                          Beach Chick RE: ipsedixit Jan 21, 2013 06:52 AM

                                          Thanks sista...
                                          Beets and Brussel sprouts...two of my faves..

                                        2. c
                                          cstr RE: Beach Chick Jan 6, 2014 06:51 AM

                                          News just reported that an armed robber went in to CSS last night and stole the wedding ring from a cook. What a low life.

                                          11 Replies
                                          1. re: cstr
                                            Beach Chick RE: cstr Jan 6, 2014 07:07 AM

                                            Unbelievable. .that puts the 'd' in douche bag.

                                            1. re: Beach Chick
                                              MrKrispy RE: Beach Chick Jan 6, 2014 11:37 AM

                                              not very surprising based on the neighborhood and what I have witnessed while eating there several times . Or maybe the assailant was just angry about the one hour wait in line.

                                              1. re: MrKrispy
                                                RB Hound RE: MrKrispy Jan 6, 2014 11:59 AM

                                                Sort of an odd story. I don't think robbery was the motive; almost sounds like somebody that was mentally deranged:


                                                I went there once when the line was not too bad, and had their triple threat sandwich (probably the signature). I thought it was decent, but a bit too salty for my tastes, and lacked an "oomph" for the lack of a better term. W/o any line I'd return, but if it were over 10 people I'd take a pass.

                                                1. re: RB Hound
                                                  Jottle RE: RB Hound Jan 15, 2014 03:02 PM

                                                  This is one of the most overrated restaurants in SD. They're saying, "look how many different ways I can put pork together. Don't you love pork on top of pork? What's wrong with you? You don't like pork with pork?" Everyone loses their minds for this concept, as if it's better than sliced bread. It's pork people, not manna from heaven. I've eaten at this place three times. That triple threat sandwich is gross.

                                                  1. re: Jottle
                                                    jmtreg RE: Jottle Jan 15, 2014 04:12 PM

                                                    Um. . .pork is fantastic. Pork is, in fact, manna from heaven (or, as referred to in "Field of Dreams," Iowa). But I kid. . .

                                                    Is Carnitas Snack Shack overrated? Probably. The food is, IMHO, excellent and well prepared. Now, if you aren't a pork person, then things like the Triple Threat sando would not be your thing - which is why you could have ordered the steak sando or the cheesburger.

                                                    Now, is the Carnitas Snack Shack the best restaurant in San Diego? Heavens no, but for a place that you order from a counter and then get your food after waiting way too long in line, its pretty damn good. In fact, I'd say it compares favorably to Hot Doug's in Chicago. Sure, there are no duck fat fries, but CSS has beer. Lovely, lovely beer.

                                                    1. re: jmtreg
                                                      Fake Name RE: jmtreg Jan 15, 2014 06:13 PM



                                                      1. re: Fake Name
                                                        cstr RE: Fake Name Jan 16, 2014 07:20 AM

                                                        The beast just woke up.

                                                      2. re: jmtreg
                                                        Jottle RE: jmtreg Jan 18, 2014 11:51 AM

                                                        In all honestly, I do love pork like many other people. And to somewhat soften my earlier comments, I went to CSS a few days ago and had a fantastic steak sandwich. One other person I was with had the burger and raved about it. The seasoning on their fries was excellent as well. So it turns out they do non-pork items extremely well. Their pork dishes always leave me wanting, ironically. One other unusual thing. Their guacamole was also really strange. The guy at the counter raved about it, but it was clearly just mashed avocados. You gotta put something else in there to call it guacamole.

                                                      3. re: Jottle
                                                        ipsedixit RE: Jottle Jan 15, 2014 06:15 PM

                                                        Can you return her ring, now?

                                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                                          The Office Goat RE: ipsedixit Jan 15, 2014 08:46 PM

                                                          ::spittake:: LOL

                                                        2. re: Jottle
                                                          Josh RE: Jottle Jan 18, 2014 11:36 AM

                                                          The Food Networkization of food.

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