Ready to know more about San Diego?


The Best Things I Ate This Month: March Main Dish

Triple Threat @ Carnitas Snack Shack | French Toast @ Bailiwick | Mantu @ Khyber Pass

By Troy Johnson

The Best Things I Ate This Month: March Main Dish

Triple Threat sandwich from Carnitas Snack Shack

Triple Threat @ Carnitas Snack Shack

I mean, it’s not even fair. The calorie count on this thing would read, “What are you thinking?” But sometimes lunch isn’t about waistline management. Sometimes it’s just about “yes.” Not much new you can say about Carnitas except now they’ve got craft beer to go along with the multitude of pork products from high-end chef turned shack owner Hanis Cavin. The Triple Threat is a ménage a trois of swine. Heritage Duroc pork chicken-fried into a schnitzel. Salmon Creek Farms pork slow-roasted and hand-pulled. Then applewood-smoked bacon. All topped with a housemade pepperoncini and pickle relish on an Amish Kaiser bun from Sadie Rose. If your heart arrests, it will do so in a bout of pleasure. 2632 University Ave., North Park, 619.294.7675,

The Best Things I Ate This Month: March Main Dish

French Toast at Bailiwick

French Toast @ Bailiwick

In the middle of Downtown shiny shirted glitz. Bailiwick is a welcome bit of casual New England. White colonial walls, a wide open, bright space, and bit of casual, boat-pants preppiness. I haven’t seen such a successful, sophisticated-yet-unpretentious brunch scene in a while. In a mimosa moment two weekends ago, the DJ dropped in John Denver’s “Country Road” and the entire restaurant erupted in song. When you go, get the French toast with Grand Marnier cream, agave-soaked blackberries and Bourbon maple syrup. It’s very good, and an even better reason to check out Downtown’s new Sunday brunch scene. 756 5th Ave., Downtown, 619.795.3036.

The Best Things I Ate This Month: March Main Dish

Mantu at Khyber Pass

Mantu @ Khyber Pass

My wife is Afghan. It’s a cuisine just loaded with rice of all kinds—spiced this way and that, often topped with lamb. Nary a vegetable in sight, unless pickled. One of the specialties I can’t get enough of is mantu—steamed dumplings stuffed with ground beef and topped with a garlic yogurt sauce. And no one in town does it better than the original Afghan restaurant in Hillcrest. If all you know of Afghanistan is war, reorient your interaction with the culture. Mantu’s a decent way to start. 523 University Ave., Hillcrest, 619.294-7579,

Share this post

Contact Us

1230 Columbia Street, Suite 800,

San Diego, CA