If you live anywhere in the Raleigh area, you know about Prime BBQ in Knightdale, NC. We Knightdale residents are seriously proud that the chef and CEO of Prime BBQ, Christopher Prieto, chose our community to raise his family and build his brick-and-mortar barbecue legacy.
A consistent line out the door that wraps along the sidewalk, praise from Southern Living magazine and countless other publications, and television appearances are a few things that highlight the quality of Prieto’s barbeque mastery. But another thing that makes Prime BBQ so unique is its love and support for its community. Now, that love for community shines through even more brilliantly with Prieto’s new adventure: Primo.
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Prime BBQ’s Latin-American Counterpart: Primo
I first found out about Primo through a very low-key Prime Barbecue Facebook post. The post shows Prieto sitting outside at a black metal picnic table with a delicious-looking array of food. He is also situated in front of a black food truck with the name “Primo Latin Cuisine” stating “Wednesday – Friday 5:30 pm – Sellout.”
I took mental note of the post and Primo’s hours and knew that I had to swing by soon. I was particularly excited to see the hours posted, since I love Prime BBQ but often miss the window of opportunity during the day (they sell out fast!). As days went by, the idea was still floating around in the back of my head. That is until I read the News and Observer’s article about Primo. Then I knew I had to get over there ASAP.
Where is Prime BBQ in Knightdale Located? Is That Where I Can Find Primo?
Prime is located in Knightdale’s ever-evolving downtown district. Located at 403 Knightdale Station Run in Knightdale, North Carolina, Prime BBQ has a perfect spot right across from the pristine Knightdale Station Park.
But where can you find Primo? I had to swing around to the parking lot in the back behind the restaurant. But when I did, the ambiance was modern backyard casual. I could see rows of black metal picnic tables sitting on top of artificial turf. Framing the area were beautifully potted plants and cafe lights that were strung above the tables. The Primo food truck was parked on the right-hand side.
Right behind the food truck were additional play structures for kids to enjoy (beyond the amazing outdoor play space that Prime BBQ already has set aside for kids and families to enjoy). Parking in the back was thankfully abundant and easily accessible.
What To Order? Checking Out Primo’s Menu
I arrived at Primo right when they were just opening around 5:30 pm. As I strolled up, I noticed a refrigerator full of glass-bottle sodas and beers to the side of the food truck. When I approached, I glanced at the menu and was greeted by a friendly employee. She asked if I had any questions and also let me know that some of the side items available that evening were typically items reserved for one or two days a week at Prime BBQ (like the cream corn), but were uniquely available on Primo’s menu every night.
As I glanced over the menu, my eyes stopped at brisket tacos and I knew I didn’t need to go any further. I ordered that and a Modelo beer, and settled into one of the benches as I waited for my food.
Am I in Prime BBQ’s Backyard or Prieto’s?
As I waited, I walked past a man who had already ordered and was waiting for his meal. He and I chatted briefly and I pet his friendly dog while I waited for my food. One of the things that struck me throughout my meal was how intimate this setting felt. Prieto came over and introduced himself to me. I had an opportunity to chat with him about a variety of topics, from living in Knightdale, where his kids go to school, driving golf carts throughout the neighborhood and downtown area, seeing the Prime BBQ vehicle all around town, and of course, Primo’s food.
As I progressed through my meal, Prieto’s family began to arrive. His lovely wife arrived with their children. His sweet kids grabbed some drinks from the refrigerator, hung out, and played. One of his sons got hurt and was upset. Prieto immediately stopped what he was doing, gently picked him up, soothed him, and carried him over to grab a soda. Super-Dad mode! The tears were gone pretty quickly.
What amazed me was that apart from his wife and kids, I couldn’t tell who was family, friends, and new guests. Prieto stopped by each table, chatted with them, mingled, and was present for each group. It felt like I was at a private party in his backyard. Through our conversation, it was clear that Prieto’s faith, love for his family, and love for his community drive the passion behind his business.
Primo’s Food: Where Prime BBQ Meets the Bright Flavors of Latin American Cuisine
My food came out quickly. My taco had a hearty serving of beef brisket topped with pickled onion, pico de gallo, guacamole, and sour cream sauce. It also came with a side of salsa verde. The taco was deliciously presented and garnished with fresh cilantro. Prieto also graciously encouraged me to try two sides, the cream corn and Spanish slaw along with the salsa rojo.
I’ve got to be honest…I’m a little embarrassed with myself. I took a sip or two of my beer and dove right into my taco. And then… I moaned. Out loud (insert facepalm emoji)! After coming out of a very mundane stretch of hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, and sandwiches at my house, this was the meal I needed.
It was utterly delicious with bright flavors and tender brisket. The slaw had a great mix of crunch and fresh spices and the cream corn was sweet and savory all in one bite. I tried the salsa rojo, which packed a spicy punch but gave me the heat I wanted. I sat back, soaking in the ambiance around me, relishing my meal, and felt grateful I got to enjoy it all.
And, don’t get me wrong. My kids aren’t usually picky eaters and I love exposing them to new foods and flavors. We have just been in a prolonged culinary slump over at our house. So, I will be back with my kids and husband next time to try more of Primo’s menu. But for tonight, I was able to enjoy an awesome, flavorful meal that I didn’t have to cook myself, and I was elated.
Prime BBQ’s Neighbors, Knightdale, and The Future
During our conversation, Prieto and I discussed how he appreciates not only working but also living in Knightdale. He praised how well the Town of Knightdale maintains its open spaces, particularly Knightdale Station Park, and its vision for the future. We both agreed that we feel that the area is going to continue to explode in growth, but the Town seems to be taking a very active approach to ensure that the growth coming will continue to enhance the quality of life for its current and future citizens.
I asked Prieto what changes he was most excited to see take place in Knightdale in the next five to ten years. Without hesitating, he listed two projects. One will be Prime BBQ’s neighbor, which is the 12,000-square-foot commercial portion of the Lofts at Knightdale Station. Prieto anticipates some exciting new businesses for Knightdale in that space. Ask him for the inside scoop 🙂
The other project that Prieto feels will be a game-changer for Knightdale is Downtown North. Also located right by the restaurant, Downtown North is truly Knightdale’s opportunity to grow a brand new town center within its downtown district. We both agreed that we were excited to see what new, unique small businesses come to that space once constructed.
Until Next Time…
As I finished up my dinner and headed out, I quickly thanked Prieto and waved goodbye. While he was busy, he still took the time to thank me for coming out. I left feeling so full not only with an amazing meal, but also with excitement for the future of my new town, renewed gratitude for my family (seeing Prieto with his made me want to get back to hug mine), and a deeper love and pride for my community.
I suppose that’s the beauty and uniqueness of Primo. Who knew you could get all of that from a single meal?