A Sandwich A Day: Steak Sandwich from Carnitas' Snack Shack, San Diego

A Sandwich a Day

A different sandwich profiled every single day.

In this great nation of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around the country. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.

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[Photographs: Erin Jackson]

Carnitas' Snack Shack is sizzling. The North Park restaurant was recently named best cheap eats by San Diego Magazine and won a Silver Fork Award from San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles magazine.

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Back when I visited to try the burger, the "Crack Shack" was only a few months old, but already gaining a loyal following. Now, there's a line-up in place before they even open, something I've only ever seen at Hodad's.

Pork is the focus, whether it's in the form of a BLT, carnitas tacos, or the pork sandwich (a triple-hit of pig with pork loin schnitzel, pulled pork, and bacon), but I'm completely stuck on their steak sandwich ($9). The substantial 'wich features thinly sliced ribeye steak piled on thick slices of toasted jalapeño cheddar bread with tomato, pickled serranos, jalapeño jack cheese, and a generous squeeze of Shack aioli.

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Heat from the steak melts the aioli, coating the already juicy beef with even more moisture, while the spicy components deliver a spike of heat in every bite. The bread is magnificent, with subtle echos of cheese and pepper that complete one of the most instantly addictive sandwiches I've ever tasted. Add a side of seasoned fries ($2.50) and you've got enough food for two people.

Carnitas' Snack Shack

2632 University Ave, San Diego CA 92104 (map) 619-294-7675; carnitassnackshack.com