Carnitas’ Snack Shack
2632 University Ave.
San Diego, CA 92104
The San Diego Free Press is highlighting North Park during the month of March. When I have mentioned to people that I am going to review several restaurants in the area, almost to a person I have been asked if I have been to the “Carnitas’ Snack Shack.” I hadn’t been there but I knew that I would certainly get there before the month was out.
As it turned out, my daughter went with me to my doctor’s appointment today and we had talked about eating at the Snack Shack if we had time. The place doesn’t open until 12:00pm – stays open until midnight, and it fit right into our schedule. And when we got there at 12:01pm there were already 24 people in line ahead of us. (The first time I tried to eat there the line was so long that I didn’t stay.)
There was not a whole lot of talking between those of us in line; everyone was bent on getting their orders in so that they could find a table in the back.
I don’t know how many the back seats – which, by the way is outdoors replete with heating lamps and/or fans – but I would think it is close to 25-30 people. Some of the tables were “community tables”; some were tables for 2-4 people; some were in the sun; some were under an awning.
My daughter asked two men that were eating under cover – and yes, they were security police, if they would let us know when they were finished so we could have their table. They immediately got up and gave us their table, and even held the chair out for me. The fact that the table wobbled from side to side didn’t bother us at all because it was out of the sun. The chairs were low – sometimes I felt that I needed a booster chair, but no complaints.
When you reach the window in the front of the very, very small restaurant, you place your order from the hand-written menu on the board. (See Picture.) I ordered the Snack Carnitas taco for $7. Stephanie and I shared an order of French fries for $2.50 and we each had an iced tea – with free refills.) Stephanie ordered the Shack Steak Sandwich for $9.
Both the carnitas and steak sandwich were good although the carnitas was a tad bit greasy. But the meat for both items was tender and succulent.
The plates also had a corn relish that was excellent – $4 for a 1/2 pint to take home, and although the ketchup was hand made it was the only thing I would not order again. It tasted too much like tomato soup and neither of us used much on our French fries. The French fries were hot and spicy, and very tasty. But if you don’t like spicy things, don’t order them. The unsweetened ice tea was good. . It is to be noted that they have a nice wine and beer menu
There were “runners” that brought the meals to those of us at the tables; the female was very friendly, as was the young woman that took the original order. We did not have any dealings with the male runner, but he seemed efficient as well. All and all the meal was delicious. Yes, we would go back and order something else from the menu.
But beware – almost all of their items, except for a salad or two, have meat as a part of it.
I suppose you could have some items without the bacon, pork, or beef, but everything seems to revolve around meat products. I know you will enjoy the experience!