With the bay in front of you, the city behind you, and the boardwalk surrounding you, there’s no way you can go wrong with take-out at Carnitas Snack Shack in San Diego, California. Serving primarily Mexican dishes, this oceanside establishment also offers a range of sandwiches, burgers, and sides to accommodate all appetites. A casual take-out counter allows you to place your order, grab a seat at a nearby table, and wait with your tracker for the food to be delivered right to you.
Excited to try all the variations of American and Mexican cuisine, we splurged on a Steak Sandwich, Fish Tacos, Carnitas Torta, Chicharrones, and Shack Fries. Our Steak Sandwich was incredible. Picture a grilled cheese sandwich on steroids; sliced ribeye oozing juices into the melted pepper jack cheese with pickled Serrano and chipotle aioli all between jalapeño bread. Out of this world! To make a more traditional American meal out of this, add fries and you’ll be satisfied indeed. The shoestring fries come seasoned and with a side of bacon ketchup, a concoction that surprisingly does taste like bacon.
Onto the Mexican fare. A Carnitas Tortas (pulled pork Sandwich) came in a large portion on a fluffy grinder roll with fresh guacamole, lettuce, and tomato. The pork was a bit too pure for our liking, as we were expecting something more drenched in a sauce. The meat itself was flavorful though, just lacking a bit of seasoning. Packing more pork on top of that, we indulged in Chicharrones (crispy pork skin). These puffed chips tasted almost like rice cakes, but more savory and saltier. The salsa that came with them was fantastic and this appetizer was large enough to feed multiple people. Definitely a good side to share or a light start to a meal.
We finished with Fish Tacos and these took the prize for the tastiest Mexican dish. Blackened and grilled Mahi Mahi over-topped with dressed cabbage, avocado crema, and pico de gallo, all held together in a corn tortilla. These favorites were just the taste combination we were looking for. The fish was slightly dry, but we have no complaints on how the flavors came together.
A casual atmosphere right on the docks of downtown San Diego is hard to pass up. Families and friends alike are sure to find an enjoyable meal and a great time at Carnitas Snack Shack.