Carnitas Snack Shack (Carmel Valley)
A one hour wait for food? Been there, done that (Burger Week at the original Carnitas Snack Shack in North Park). When the new location opened last year in Del Mar, friend and I anticipated a huge line on Friday night of opening week...
Lucky for us, there were only a few people in front of us. The wait was a mere 5 minutes! What a relief! We checked out the menu including the dessert specials at the front. It was easier to read than the menu behind the counter.
This place also has custom sodas in their fountain drink area so I'm sure Dennis would be interested in sampling those!
The wall art at the Del Mar location includes plenty of pigs. I wonder how long it took for the wooden carving!
I ordered the Triple Threat pork sandwich but unfortunately it didn't quite hit the spot for me that day. I think there was too much going on between the pickled bits, listless bacon, fried chop, and the pulled pork, at least for my tastes. I've heard that other people quite enjoyed it, such as Faye's Fork.
My friend ordered the Pork Tacos. She said it was good but needed a little something extra because it mainly tasted like meat on a corn tortilla. Well, it mostly IS meat but maybe we should have tried adding the corn relish on the side.
She also ordered the french fries which were definitely an improvement to my overseasoned version from Burger Week. No choking on seasoning dust this time. Still, I have had better, more exciting fries. The side ketchup was more home-made and tasty.
Here's friend taking a picture of the engraved piggie on table! And me obviously capturing this awesome moment hehe. We are so easily amused!
Dennis didn't want to wait in any lines so stayed home that night. Nice wifey that I am, I offered to bring something back... I ordered him the Pork Burger that I was originally considering. Unfortunately this one was a bit saltier and didn't quite live up to my expectations from Burger Week. Oh well...
I came back a couple months later with a different friend and decided to give their food another go.
We sat out in their patio this time for both S.D. sunshine and another reason... Usually I make the "[blank] is so cute!" face while reading my friend's posts but this time... lookieeee!
A special visitor! My friend brought along her adorable pooch Lychee. The patio here is dog friendly and they provide water bowls.
This little princess was asking for food of course! She got a little bit of pork schnitzel because it was her half birthday. Lucky dog! ;)
Anyways, I tried ordering the pork burger again (maybe i hit opening week kinks). The ingredients list was the same as before but this time the patty seemed completely different. In fact, look at the insides! The mixture was more carrot-like and chunky in texture. Now I'm wondering if it was even cooked through! What ever happened to that mystical pork burger from last year?
I also ordered the famous pork belly as an appetizer, as recommended by Kirbie and a few other bloggers. It came with a light salad with sliced radishes. I don't usually eat radishes but these were subtle enough with the veggie shreds.
Close up because... pork bellyyyy! Mmm, look at that glistening goodness. It looked dark but the char bits were still flavorful. The meat to fat ratio was good and overall quite delicious but not the best I've ever had.
So, after visiting the new location multiple times, I still seem to find it more on the so-so side. They do some things well but the food really hasn't impressed me enough. I don't have the patience to try the North Park line though to see if location matters. I think the best part of these visits was the company. I don't see these two friends often so it was fantastic catching up. At least I've got that! =)
Carnitas Snack Shack (Carmel Valley)
12873 El Camino Real
San Diego CA 92130