A few weeks ago a friend and I stood in line on the street to order lunch at Carnitas’ Snack Shack on University Avenue in North Park just east of Texas Street. Rarely do I think about a place with food and flavors that leave me craving another visit. After mentioning the shack (a stand alone tiny building with heated outdoor seating in the back along the alley) to friends, they ate there three times in three days…and continue working their way through the tiny menu.
So, what’s good? Anything with pork. The BLT with ham, bacon, tomato, lettuce and a jazzed up “shack aioli” all piled on lightly grilled (thickly sliced) brioche bread ($8)–a sumptuous mouthful. If you see it on the menu, the eggplant, tomato and blue cheese appetizer features lightly breaded and deep fried Japanese eggplant rounds stacked with the other ingredients on two long toothpicks ($4). Ask for the skinny cut fries to be cooked crisp unless you like them soft and wimpy ($2.50). A local organic half roasted chicken missed in flavor and preparation–bland at best and a special one day. Other menu items include carnitas taco or torta ($7), steak sandwich ($9), Shack burger ($9) panzanella salad ($7) and glazed pork belly with frisee salad ($7). Generous portions too.
You’ll find chef/owner Hanis Cavin at the stove when you peek through the order window. Buzz would love to know why the zippy side/slaw that comes with many of the dishes is out-of-season corn? Why not local corn for summer and cabbage for winter? 2632 University Avenue, North Park, 619-294-7675. Open noon to midnight, closed Tuesday.