A Spicy Perspective

BBQ Carnitas Tacos from White Duck Taco Shop

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White Duck Taco Shop in Asheville, North Carolina, is serving killer tacos to their cult following… including these BBQ Carnitas Tacos!

Bbq Carnitas Tacos

Have you ever seen the movie Swingers with (a very young) Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau? There’s a part in the movie where characters Rob and Mike are looking for a hidden night club in LA. Finding the club offers a certain amount of status because only the “cool kids” know where it is. That’s how I felt the first time I drove up to White Duck Taco Shop. I had heard of the elusive little taco joint from a friend who always knows what’s new in Asheville’s ever-growing food scene. The lure of finding it on a side-street in Asheville’s River Arts District was the initial draw, but the tacos I experienced were money.”   *wink*

White Duck Taco Shop

Ben and Laura Mixson came to Asheville with one goal in mind, a taco shop. After years of living as fine-dining restauranteurs/ski bums in Park City, Utah, they moved east to be closer to family. The Mixson’s wanted to open a casual restaurant offering local and seasonal foods–reminiscent of taco shops they frequented back west.

Taco Shop

Along with serious culinary clout, Ben and Laura have a skillet full of fun stories to share of their experience opening the taco shop. For instance, our local paper announced what was to be their “soft opening” three months ago. The response was overwhelming with new customers lined up out the door. The Mixsons had to close the doors for a day to revamp their game-plan. Not a bad problem to have for a brand-new restaurant.

The name White Duck Taco Shop comes from Laura’s past restaurant days. She chuckled as she admitted, her staff in Utah named her “La Pato Blanca,” the white duck, because her hair was very white (blonde) and they claimed she called out orders like she was quacking at them.

White Duck

The art featured in the restaurant also comes with a bit of amusing history. Back in college, Ben bought a good friend his first surf board. Over the years this friend has become the renowned graffiti artist that goes by the name Ishmael. To repay Ben for his kindness, Ishmael painted the official white duck displayed on the wall. It just goes to show, you never know what a little generosity will get you. In this case, famous graffiti.

White Duck Taco Shop offers a global array of tacos inspired by dishes Laura and Ben love. They are masters at the art of balancing comfort food and culinary adventure. The “chalkboard menu” changes not only with the seasons, but as they experiment with new flavor concepts.The Mixson’s have made their mark on Ashveille’s unique food culture bringing us tacos with personality.

Pork Carnitas

White Duck’s BBQ Carnitas Taco is a nod to the south, with pulled pork, baked beans, coleslaw and bbq sauce. It takes a chef many early morning hours to prepare all the elements that go into your “quick” lunch. Here, the official White Duck BBQ Carnitas Tacos recipe has been slightly altered to make it home-cook friendly… just for you!

BBQ Tacos

This recipe is a great way to use up leftover pulled pork from your weekend barbecue. It also gives your favorite BBQ joint take-out an exciting makeover.

Bbq Carnitas Tacos
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BBQ Carnitas Tacos from White Duck Taco Shop

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
White Duck Taco Shop in Asheville, North Carolina, is serving killer tacos to their cult following... including these BBQ Carnitas Tacos!
Servings: 16 tacos


For the Coleslaw:

For the Baked Beans:

  • 32 ounces baked beans
  • 3 strips bacon chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dark molasses
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin

For the Pork Carnitas:

To Assemble:


  • In a large bowl, whisk the mayo, spices, sugar and vinegar together until smooth. Add the cabbage mix and stir to coat. Place in the fridge until ready to serve.
  • Set a sauce pot over medium-high heat. Saute the chopped bacon until crisp. Then pour the bean (with sauce) and the molasses into the pot. Season with cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil, cinnamon and chili powder. Saute the spices for 1-2 minutes, then add the pulled pork to the skillet. Brown the pork to create some crispy edges, stir occasionally—5-10 minutes.

To Assemble:

  • Layer two corn tortillas on a plate. Add a scoop of bean in the middle of the tortilla, followed by the pork “carnitas” and the coleslaw. Drizzle with bbq sauce.


Serving: 1taco, Calories: 425kcal, Carbohydrates: 62g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 34mg, Sodium: 1004mg, Potassium: 414mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 23g, Vitamin A: 235IU, Vitamin C: 12.7mg, Calcium: 128mg, Iron: 2.7mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier

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72 comments on “BBQ Carnitas Tacos from White Duck Taco Shop”

  1. In 2018, my wife and I visited Asheville. We had a SoCal friend who had retired there.
    The friend took us the White Duck for lunch.
    Didn’t make the recipe yet, so I didn’t rate it.
    But the tacos were an easy 5-stars in real life.
    Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  2. What do you think about making these in a smoker??? I know how….just not sure if the taste would be right! It sounds exiting in my head….and my mouth is watering!!!

  3. Loved it.

  4. Pingback: Simply Delicious BBQ Carnitas Tacos | Cooking Through Crazy

  5. Pingback: Simple Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches « Preserving Home Basics

  6. Pingback: BBQ Carnitas Tacos from White Duck Taco Shop | A Spicy Perspective | Mr. Barbeque

  7. I made this tonight, and it was to DIE for! I love tacos, and these were really different, and easier than I thought it would be (even in smaller amounts). Thanks!

  8. oh, my, YES! thanks for this!!

  9. Went this past weekend and it was awesome! Enjoyed 4 different tacos and the chips are really good too. Thanks for posting this recipe too. Please continue posting about local places to eat. I love it!

  10. “You’re so money and you don’t even know it!” I would kill for one of those tacos right now.

  11. Pingback: BBQ Carnitas Tacos from White Duck Taco Shop | LimeWedge.net

  12. AlI have to say is- yum. Those look AMAZING!
    Congrats on your SITS day, btw!

  13. Congrats on your SITS Day Sommer! Great blog! :)

  14. I’ll be visiting Asheville in the next month or so, and we may have to make a point of checking out The White Duck. What fun!

  15. What an amazing looking place! Am only sad I live on the other side of the world – but at least I have the recipe, right? Visiting from SITS and SO glad to be here.

  16. Happy SITS day!

    I stopped over from SITS and have been scanning your blog for over an hour now. Not only do you have amazing recipes (Butternut Squash Gnocchi – Holy cow!), but the stories you tell along with your recipes are amazing.

  17. yummmmm! I LOVE tacos! Seriously any kind.. fish, chicken, beef, elk (yes, elk)! So this post seriously got my mouth watering…. great blog and love your recipes!! Happy SITS day!

  18. I love carnitas! These tacos look so delicious!

  19. I can almost smell those from here..

  20. Our local grocer just started carrying these whole grain corn and wheat blend tortillas. To die for! Whole grain flavor, but still flexible and ready for stuffing. I could seriously eat a wrap every day and not get tired of these for … well, let’s be honest, a few months, maybe. Cheers!

  21. That sounds awesome – I wish I had a place I went that seemed like a cool-kids hangout!

  22. Great to see you featured on SITs! Saying hi from SITS and Twitter! I made some killer carnitas a couple of weeks ago inspired by a recipe for the slow cooker that I saw on theKitchn. These tacos look fantastic and the restaurant is adorable!

  23. Wow….I love your blog!!! I always love blogs that give me inspiration to try to cook something. “Try” being the key word. I wish I was a better cook and liked doing it more often but I don’t. When I see blogs like yours, however, I think it would be so fun to make something everyone would love!! Happy SITS Day!!

  24. your blog is gorgeous! happy SITS day to you!!

  25. Pingback: Simple Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches « FOOD with CAREN

    • I have so many good things about White Duck Taco. It is definitely on my list next time I visit Asheville — hopefully that will be in mid-October. In the meantime, I have a bag of pulled pork in my freezer… Thanks for posting the recipe!

  26. Love your gorgeous blog! Happy SITS Day! The food looks delicious! Reminds me of the pulled pork I made last night.

  27. Love that movie! This looks delish. So glad I found your blog. Happy sits day!

  28. Happy SITS Day! Sounds yummy! I’m looking forward to checking out more recipes on your site here!

  29. Congratulations on your SITS day. I hope it’s a fun day for you.

    Your blog is incredible. So many yummy and beautiful dishes.

  30. Yummmmmm!!! I love Asheville – so thankful to be born and raised here in our beautiful city! Happy SITS day! Thankful to have found YOU – and be able to read about your culinary adventures, and see where I need to go eat in town!

  31. My husband’s been there, I haven’t had a chance to go yet, but I look forward to. I’ve heard it’s really good yet really cheap.

  32. Holy wow! I would make the drive just for a bite of that taco!

  33. Happy SITS Day to you!

    Those look amazing.

  34. Now, I’m hungry. Those tacos look amazing.

  35. Happy SITS day! Lets have some tacos to celebrate!

  36. Happy SITS Day! Those carnitas look delectable…and what an amazing story about the owners!

  37. Happy SITS Day!

    I think I gained 10 lbs just looking at this post!

  38. Yum! They look great. Just had my first fish taco a few months ago & LOVED it. Will have to try these. too!

  39. Oooh, these tacos look awesome! I love the idea of BBQ/taco fusion!

  40. Wow. Fantastic article and amazing pictures. Sommer, we appreciate your hard work and awesome talent in writing this story about us. Getting this type of exposure really helps us independents. You truly are a professional. I am saving a few tacos for you and your family. Thanks so much, ben and laura

  41. WOW, yum, these tacos sound totally amazing! Definitely need to try making these!

  42. This looks like a charming place! I’m drooling over the tacos!!

  43. Love a good pulled pork dish! And this sounds incredibly delicious!!

  44. I’ll put this on my list of places to visit next time we’re in town. But I will print this recipe to check out :) Good one – the photos look fantastic!

  45. Fantastic article and love the human story side of it. Keep it up you two! Can’t wait to taste some more of these great taco’s!!

  46. White Duck is my FAVORITE. We eat there nearly every week. It’s so nice they gave out their recipe, but I think I’d rather just pick them up.

  47. Ah-maze-ing! Your pictures are fabulous and that combination!? Wow! I’ve gotta try this one.

  48. That sounds like my kind of restaurant! Wish I lived closer to Asheville =)

    Love the flavors of this taco too!

  49. What a great restaurant review! I LOVE that you included the back story of the restaurant! The tacos really do look amazing! I guess you ARE the cool kid on the block!

  50. Salivating!!!!!!!!!!! Delicious.

  51. Hola friend!
    I need to try these tacos next time I am up there! Looks like a fun place! Hope you are doing well. Need to catch up sometime!

  52. Now that I’m in Austin, it seems that I’m in taco central… but I have yet to see duck tacos here. I need to visit your part of the world one day soon, they look so tasty.

  53. Tacos…Please count me in !!!! I could eat one of those gorgeous tacos right now :) Beautiful recipe, Sommer.

    HUGS <3

  54. Looks like you’ve made it! Way to go. I am drooling just reading about your tacos. You owe me one. Thanks for the recipe but don’t give away too much information.

  55. These sound divine! I love the idea of adding the beans right into the tacos! Delish!

  56. These tacos look amazing. I love carnitas tacos and will have to try this BBQ version.

  57. Incredibly delicious…..wish I could grab one off the screen:)

  58. These tacos look so delicious! I love the idea of using baked beans in the taco!

  59. oh wow! thank you for sharing this recipe… i cant wait to make them for my dad.

  60. I get excited about posts that show places! It’s like a vacay without leaving home! I LOVE the menu, and since I cannot eat there, I hope you will recreate several of the options so that I can try them out!

  61. Great photos, Sommer! What a great little taco shop – I will take one of everything on the menu, starting with these carnitas tacos.

  62. Now that is some taco! My little guy loves ducks (as pets), so I know he would love to visit this taco shop (although he would not like to see duck on the menu ;)).

  63. That recipe sounds awesome.

  64. um wow, these look amazing! Love those secret recipes :)

  65. That shredded meat has me in a sexy shiver.

  66. i could totally eat this for breakfast. love!

  67. Okay, it’s not even 9am and I want these so badly! Love carnitas. I would eat it for breakfast right now if I could!

  68. That shop looks fantastic, and what a great recipe!