Get Your Picnic On at Primal Food & Spirits

Get Your Picnic On at Primal Food & Spirits

The gluten-free restaurant has the perfect summer dish – fall-off-the-bone ribs with a creamy coleslaw and a side of sweet baked beans

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Photo by Sarah Arneson.
Photo by Sarah Arneson.

Nothing says summer quite like a plate stacked with ribs, perfectly dressed coleslaw and steaming baked beans – especially when said beans are chock-full of crispy bites of bacon, as is the case at Primal Food & Spirits. But let’s start with those ribs. The pasture-raised pork is dry-rubbed with a blend of spices including ground cumin, coriander, cayenne, white and black pepper, smoked paprika, kosher salt and Sugar in the Raw; after chilling for a few hours, it’s slow-roasted in the oven until it’s almost falling off the bone. Then it’s transferred to a wood grill and hit with a pineapple barbecue sauce.

“There’s nothing North Carolina about it,” chef/owner Tim Lyons says in regards to the dressing, which combines sweet with bitter flavors thanks to the addition of pineapple, vinegar, shallots, garlic, tomato paste, maple syrup, chipotle peppers, coffee, celery and thyme. The creamy coleslaw recipe also contains “a laundry list of ingredients.” A throwback to Tim’s time in Key West at Louie’s Backyard, it’s one of the celebrated restaurant’s famous dishes, even appearing in the “Louie’s Backyard Cookbook.” The course is completed with the addition of those aforementioned baked beans (complemented by a sweet-but-subtle maple syrup flavor). As an alternative to wine – and sticking with the refined picnic theme to this meal – Tim recommends pairing it with a refreshing watermelon paloma cocktail.

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Amanda MacLaren
Amanda MacLaren is the executive editor of Durham Magazine. Born in Mesa, Ariz., she grew up in Charlotte and attended UNC-Chapel Hill, majoring in journalism. She’s lived in Durham for five years now. When she’s not at work, you can usually find her with a beer in hand at Fullsteam, Dain’s Place or Bull City Burger or getting takeout from Chubby’s.