African American

Butterfunk Kitchen (Brooklyn, NY)

I feel as though I should be writing this review with some kind of James Brown music playing in the background.  “Butterfunk” is a horrible name for a restaurant, but it’s so bad that it’s recognizable so I guess their PR team is smarter than a fifth grader.  The restaurant opened at 5:30, but I wanted to get there early because I only had an hour and a half to eat due to other obligations.  To my surprise there were two people already there waiting for the place to open!  I thought my waiting in line days were over, apparently not.  Good thing I was second in line and got their early because the line filled up quickly after I go there.

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Butterfunk Kitchen, is located right across the street from the Fort Hamilton Parkway Subway stop in Brooklyn.  If you ride the train everywhere in New York like me, then getting there will be a breeze.  It’s a small, quaint restaurant that only seats about 30-40 people at once.  The restaurant specializes in traditional soul food with a twist.

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During my visit, I was able to order three dishes and a bunch of sides.  The dishes consisted of Neckbone Dumplings, Fried Catfish, and Lemonade Buttermilk Fried Chicken. I’ll start with the Neckbone Dumplings.  I ordered this dish because it reminded me of the foods my grandmother used to cook, that I would say “fuck no” to.  (Well, not in those exact words, but you understand me)  The dish consisted of pork neck, honeychile peppers, caramelized apple vinegar broth.  This was by far one of the best neckbone dishes I’ve ever had.  If you’re disgusted by the word neckbone, no worries, the overall dish tasted like a sweet pulled pork, with soft dumplings.  The honeychile peppers added a little kick to the dish, but it was a sweet and spicy flavor.  The broth brought the dish together though.  If I didn’t have any table manners, I probably would’ve tied my hands behind my back and put my face in the bowl like I was a K-9.  But… Manners.

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The second dish that was ordered was the Fried Catfish.  It consisted of creamy grits, Green Tomato Confit, and tobasco lemon butter.  The presentation of this dish wasn’t the best, but the flavor made up for it.  The Green Tomato Confit was some of the best toppings on top of fish I’ve ever had.  I’ve had different toppings such as a pineapple salsa, Jamaican slaw, but this was over the top.  It was sweet and savory, and worked well with the creamy grits.  The tobasco lemon butter added a spiciness to the dish, but it tasted as though it had a hint of sugar mixed in it too.  Unbelievable!  One thing I can say is that I wish the Catfish was a little bigger.  It seems as though the catfish was cut into three or four small pieces instead of being presented into one or two pieces of fish.

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The last dish that was ordered was the Lemonade Buttermilk Fried Chicken & Biscuits.  Along with the Fried Chicken I ordered Blackeyed Peas, Collard Greens, Macaroni and Cheese, and Sweet Potato Mash. Before you ask, YES, the Fried Chicken did taste like Lemonade.  But, it wasn’t the “commercial” version, it was the “kool-aid” version with a little less sugar.  Think of it being dipped in lemonade then fried perfectly with the perfect amount of seasonings.  Think of your mouth watering when you bite into the chicken and see the juices flow out, only for you to lick them up like you have no table manners.  Think of “My Mama’s Biscuits”.  (If you don’t know that reference, let me know, so I can block you)  Think of a perfect Fried Chicken dish.  Then multiply it by ten because that’s what you’ll get with this dish.  The sides only added icing to the cake.

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The Blackeyed Peas, Collard Greens, Macaroni and Cheese, and Sweet Potato Mash were all amazing.  The Blackeyed Peas were obviously made by someone’s great-grandmother.  I’m pretty sure they were made with love.  The smoked ham hock added the perfect flavor to go with the bitter flavor of the peas.  Often times we forget that Blackeyed Peas with no other seasonings or salted meats taste like wet sand.  (No, I haven’t tasted wet sand, but I can imagine this is what it would taste like).  The Collard Greens were definitely made with a hint of sugar and vinegar in them.  You could clearly taste all of the ingredients that it was made with.  Exactly how I like it.  Did I mention that smoked pork was also added to this dish?  The Macaroni and Cheese was made EXACTLY the way it’s supposed to be made.  Slightly burnt and crispy on top but cheesy when you dig into it.  I think I tasted sharp cheddar, Gruyere, and some other cheeses, but I don’t want to speculate, and I forgot to ask so please forgive me.  The sweet mashed potatoes were my least favorite, but still good.  I thought they could’ve added a bit more cinnamon and butter in it, but that’ just my opinion.  The texture was perfect, and the flavors were good, but it just felt as though it was missing “something”.

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Overall, this restaurant is a stand your ass in line place.  It is the perfect place for Blacks to practice what we’re not known for.  Being on time.  You literally have to get their early, or make a reservation for a party of six.  Even then, I’m not sure if everyone will be on time.  Facts don’t care about those being offended, fyi.  Did I mention that this restaurant is owned by Chris Scott who was a contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef?  Had to save the best part for last.

OVERALL RATING : FIRST CLASS EXPERIENCE

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