Carnitas's Snack Shack at the North Embarcadero is entering its friends and family stage, which means that your opportunity to munch a Triple Threat on the waterfront is that much closer; the popular pork-focused eatery is scheduled to open to the public this Thursday, May 12. You'll find all the familiar menu favorites here, plus a new fish taco, soft-serve ice cream and brunch dishes, including machaca tacos and a breakfast sandwich, served from 9 to 11 a.m. on weekends.
But the most exciting element might be the new cocktail program, which co-founder/executive chef Hanis Cavin says is designed to complement its meaty menu. Bar manager Mai Pham's (Prepkitchen) first original drink list is made up of originals ($12) and classics ($10), plus brunch sippers that will be available on weekends. Pham says she programmed the cocktails to pair with Carnitas' cuisine and the outdoor venue, aiming to offer approachability and quality in a menu that keeps its craft and from-scratch sensibilities while accounting for the high volume that this port-side eatery is expecting.
The signature drinks are mostly of the refreshing, day-drinking variety, save for a stirred cocktail, Put A Pork In It, which mixes bourbon with applejack, allspice dram and R&D cherry bitters; there are also riffs on popular cocktails — The Mule Kick gets a boost from fresh ginger juice while the Greater Cosmos' cranberry color comes from Aperol and Peychaud's bitters — plus cocktails featuring local spirits and out-of-the-box combinations like the Sun-Beet, which features white rum, beet juice, absinthe and lime. The beverages also extend to 5 draft beers, canned beers and 4 wines on tap; a weekday 3 to 6 p.m. happy hour will offer specials on cocktails, beer and wine.
Augmenting CSS' official seating area are two public spaces on either side of eatery where guests can sit, drink and dine (and where they'll also host live music performances starting this weekend) and a viewing deck at the water's edge that is not permitted for alcohol. Carnitas' Snack Shack is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.