Friday, July 11, 2014

Gluten Free Heaven: Primal Food & Spirits

To say that I’ve been looking forward to the opening of Primal Food & Spirits in Durham would be a HUGE understatement.

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Delirious excitement bordering on an obsession would be closer to the truth. As soon as I heard that one of my favorite restaurants, Blu Seafood, would be opening an entirely gluten free restaurant I literally squealed and danced in joy. Bonus: the restaurant would be opening in South Durham, just minutes from my house! I honestly felt like Chef Tim Lyons was making all my dreams come true.

Local foods. Gluten Free. Walking Distance. Done and done.

Earlier this year, Parrish and I had the pleasure of being gifted two tickets to a Primal Preview Dinner at Blu by a dear friend. You can read more about that memorable night HERE.

After that dinner, I checked Primal’s Facebook Page daily. I couldn’t wait for the opening, and I wanted to be sure to be there opening night. So yesterday, 12 minutes after their post announcing that the day was finally here, I called and made a reservation.

What a meal!

First, I can’t believe I didn’t take pictures of the inside. It is beautiful! Parrish and I agreed that we would be just as happy sitting at the bar – it’s gorgeous! Even the bathroom was pretty guys. Even the bathroom.

But back to the food.

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To say it was hard to choose is an understatement. Guys, we can eat EVERYTHING on this menu!

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I loved that the kale salad had croutons that I wouldn’t have to ask to be left off. Parrish was a good sport as I excitedly read each and every menu item to him, and even agreed to sharing.

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We started with three appetizers:

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DEVILED EGGS jalapenos / bacon / smoked paprika aioli

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Pork Belly Confit honey glaze / sour orange mustard / herb& radish salad

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Crab Cakes lump crab / citrus cabbage slaw / orange aioli

Each one was amazing! The deviled eggs had this awesome combo of sweet and smoky. The pork belly – well it’s pork belly guys. It was amazing. I am obsessed with the sour orange mustard. OBSESSED. The salad on the side wasn’t my favorite, but Parrish loved it. Win- Win.

For me, it was all about the crab cakes!

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Since my Celiac Diagnosis 8 years ago this month (!!!) I definitely haven’t had a crab cake, so I was overjoyed to see this on the menu. I LOVED the flavor. I loved the crispiness on the outside. I loved the cabbage slaw on the side. I LOVED the crab cakes. I started day dreaming about Eggs Chesapeake – OMG. That would be amazing!

For our entrée, Parrish and I decided to share a Main Course and a Side:

photo 4 (1) 30 Hour Braised Beef Short Rib cider jus / apple chip gremolata

This was totally a throw back to that awesome short rib at the Preview Dinner, except this was even better. I loved the addition of the apple chips. It gave just a hint of sweetness to a few bites that I really loved. The jus was insane. Parrish and I were both dunking our meat several times before taking a bite.

And the potatoes. Oh the potatoes.

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Roasted Yukon Gold Steak Fries

I don’t know what kind of fat they used on these potatoes, but they were heavenly. Crispy on the outside, melt in your mouth creamy on the inside. Plus they were the perfect portion for sharing. Did I tell you guys that Baby Ravelli loves potatoes? Yep, our little buddy LOVES potatoes.

And since no meal is a full meal without dessert:

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Parrish and I shared the Berry Tartlet:

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A tasty summer treat!

Our total bill for all the food seen above, plus a glass of wine for Parrish and a cup of coffee for Parrish was only $68. While it’s not an inexpensive dinner, I was really impressed by the total cost for what we received.

Plus, since I rarely eat out, I’m willing to pay a tiny bit more for an amazing meal. What’s $68 when each bite makes you Mmmmmmmmmmm and Omigosh that’s so good. AND I know that it’s a safe meal. No chance of cross-contamination? Perfect.

Yep. It’s safe to say that y’all will be seeing more Primal meals on the blog soon,

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I’m ready!

And local friends, I’d be happy to tag along when you make your reservations! Winking smile