The Endless Road Trip — San Diego’s Top 10 Eats: 8. Endless Porker

I am normally extremely skeptical of any Mexican food that is billed as high-end, farm-table, or just generally cooked by white people. It’s not that Mexican food can’t be creative or fancy, it’s just that in my experience I have found “modern Mexican” to generally mean smaller tacos, higher prices, and less flavor than the taco trucks (and of course — the dreaded no free chips and salsa).

So of course I was hesitant when I head that San Diego’s hot taco spot of the moment is Carnitas Snack Shack, a new venture from Chef Hanis Cavinserves (red alert – chef!) that serves slow food-inspired, pork-centric American cuisine, snacks and locally sourced craft beers. But then again, I’ve never turned down any meal described as pork-centric. I’m almost embarrassed to report that this was the best taco I ate in California.  Slow-cooked salmon creek farm pork carnitas are layered on fresh, hearty homemade tortillas and topped with a vividly green mound of guacamole. The crispy-on-the-edges, melty on the insides strands of pork are like a weird, amazing fusion of southern BBQ and traditional Mexican. Fine, maybe Mexican food is allowed to get inventive after all.

But that was only the begining of a pork party that would know no bounds…

Carnitas Snack Shack’s signature triple threat pork sandwich: a golden-crisp pork loin schnitzel topped with a mound of tender pulled pork and ample amounts of bacon. Yes, you can really taste all three types of pork in every bite. Genius.
Best poutine innovation yet? Topped with pulled pork, white cheddar bacon gravy and bacon crumbles.
 Braised duroc pork belly with a sweet and spicy glaze…some of the tenderest belly we’ve ever tasted.

A BLT…with crispy ham thrown in the mix for good measure.

More of the Endless Road Trip — San Diego

1.  Pickle Tater Tots
2. Tostada Loca
3. Pacos (Pancake Tacos)
4. The Veggie Burger Comes Full Circle
5. Live Sea Urchin
6. Uni Everywhere
7. Pork, It’s What’s for Breakfast
8. Triple Threat Pork Sandwich
9. The Best Drunk Bus
10. Scrambled Eggs, Meet Rice and Beans

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