what: Primal Plate with Peri Peri Chicken
where: Primal Gourmet Kitchen + Market, 725 Meeting St., West Columbia, 803-995-0629, primalgourmetsc.com
You know that saying a parent probably beat into your head as a teenager about never going to a supermarket on an empty stomach? That sage wisdom also applies when you’re driving around town tired, hungry and most susceptible to the lure of fatty fast food.
All the willpower in the world may not be enough to resist surrendering, pulling up to a drive-through window and ordering some combo dripping in empty calories, even if mere minutes later you’ll be filled with a greasy brown bag full of regret and self-loathing. But with just an ounce of discipline, eating clean and eating fast don’t have to be mutually exclusive, as local-AF meal-prep king Primal Gourmet, who sources produce, starches and protein from pretty much every farm under the South Carolina sun, has set out to prove.
At a recent stop at Primal’s West Columbia HQ, I strode up to the assembly line and ordered the grilled chicken tenders enlivened with an aromatic green peri peri sauce and chose a colorful medley of autumn root vegetables and lip-smacking pie-spiced squash for my sides. Calorie-tracking fitness fiends can tap their selections into the MyFitnessPal app to keep tabs on their daily sodium, cholesterol and vitamin intake.
Contemplating making Primal Gourmet a habit? They offer meal packs on their website, catering to a multitude of dietary needs, from keto to vegan, with delivery to more than 50 locations — from CrossFit gyms to corporate offices — for ultra convenient pickup.