Always on the hunt for gluten-free food options, I quickly identified Primal Food and Spirits as a great lunch spot when passing through Durham on my way back to Baltimore.
Primal Food and Spirits is a 100% gluten-free eatery that has a back-to-basics approach to dining. With unprocessed fare and homegrown ingredients, dining here promises to be worry-free, as cross contamination is a non-issue and every dish is thoughtfully crafted.
Since Primal Food and Spirits is dedicated gluten-free, there's no separate menu you have to request or symbols you need to follow to find gluten-free fare. Everything is safe. However, other allergens are present in the kitchen, so be sure to let the staff know of co-occuring allergens or dietary restrictions.
To start out our meal, my mom, aunt, and I decided to order the bread bowl, which features a local bakery: Imagine That Gluten-Free. The bread is dairy and nut-free, and baked in a dedicated gluten-free facility. It's toasted to nice crispiness, and I liked the hearty slices. The bread is better than grocery store sandwich varieties, and features whole seeds on the crust and a whole grain flavor.
The basket is served with herb butter (which I did not try), and the portioning was really generous- the three of us were unable to finish every slice.
I ordered the daily special, Primal's chicken salad. This is not so much your deli counter variety, but a lovely reimagining, which serves the salad in a deconstructed way. The chicken has a lovely grilled flavor, and is tender and cut into manageable slices. Grapes and Granny Smith apples provide sweetness, with the latter adding a delightful tartness. The almonds added a nuttiness and nice texture to every forkful and the lettuce base was crisp and sublimely fresh.
My only dislike of the salad was that the "dressing" heavily featured mustard seeds. While it added complexity, a little goes a long way and I did not like the larger clumps of it. Nevertheless, the salad won me over, and easily filled me up with it's large portioning.
Any time I visit a 100% gluten-free restaurant, I am already won over without eating a bite. It takes dedicated restauranteurs to open and operate a safe place, and Primal Food and Spirits impressed me with their menu and service. My meal was excellent, and the quality surpassed my expectations. My only regret is that I couldn't try more of the menu, which of course means I will be stopping by whenever I am in the Durham area next.