Our latest Quick Bites brings us to Butterfunk for some boiled peanuts & more.

THE VIBE
Many have attempted to open a Neighborhood Soul Food Joint over the past decade, in areas all over the city, but few have pulled it off with such immediate success as the new Butterfunk Kitchen in Windsor Terrace. This is one of those restaurants that, in both style and temperament, fits so effortlessly into its surroundings, and feels so relaxed when you sit down to eat inside, that newcomers to the block (like me) might have a hard time guessing it's only been open for a couple of weeks.

Part of that insta-comfort comes from co-owner Eugenie Woo and her husband, chef Chris Scott, who for the past five years have run the popular cafe/brunch spot Brooklyn Commune located next door. Free interesting bar snacks like Boiled Peanuts and Kool-Aid Pickles certainly add to the hominess, as do the couple's family photographs jumbled across the dark-green walls. Scott is one of 27 grandchildren—he credits his Nana for teaching him that love and respect are the secrets to great cooking—so there were lots of memories from which to draw, including some that stretch back to the 19th century.

Butterfunk is a small restaurant, with seating for about 30 at the butcher-block tables, plus five seats at the bar, but Woo hasn't crammed it all in too tight, and the room feels plenty spacious. In fact, they've left one corner empty, which functions as a stage of sorts for local jazz and blues musicians a couple of nights of week, adding to the community feel.

THE BITES
They pretty much nailed the neighborhood spot vibe, but the best news here is that Scott and his crew can really cook.

Entrees can sometimes be the weak link in Southern/Soul Food spots, with starters and sides being the real stars, but not at Butterfunk. Portions are hefty, too. The Sweet Lemonade Fried Chicken, for example, is crackling and juicy (yup, even the dreaded breast), with only a hint of astringency making its way into the lively mix of seasonings.

Even better is the BBQ Baby Back Ribs, which are baked and uniquely prepared with sinus-clearing amounts of mustard and piles of fiery corn salsa. It sounds overwhelming, but it works. The meat itself, tender and rich, slides so easily off the bone that it won't survive the trip to your mouth without plopping back onto your plate (or lap), so be prepared to knife-and-fork your way through these chunks of sweet swine.

The breaded, crispy Fried Catfish offers a decent alternative to all that meat—the jalapeño jam that's loaded on with abandon ensures that the dish is no wallflower at the big-flavors party—but it's still less exciting that the offerings from the barnyard.

The only starter I tried was the Crispy Deviled Eggs, which featured battered and deep-fried whites filled with a whipped yolk. A flag of crunchy fried collard green completes the multi-textured delight.

All of the sides sound appealing, and the two that I tried were even better than I hoped. The Mac and Cheese is made with one of the more corkscrew-type pastas, the sharp cheese charred and chewy on top. And when my server recommended the Green Beans with Smoked Turkey Neck (above the Yams, the Collards, and even the Blackeyed Peas!) I just went with it, no regrets. The beans themselves are cooked to maximum comfort-food softness, very much not on-trend for veggies right now, but the addictive, funky broth gives the dish a lot more depth than meets the eye.

Really, there's nothing timid about any of the food, and if you want to fire up the intensity even higher, be sure to ask for some of Scott's chunky, no-joke hot sauce. That hot sauce goes particularly well with the Savory Cornbread, the only thing I ate that needed a little jolt. If it's bread you're after, and don't mind a bit of sweetness, the Brown Sugar Biscuits served with a prune butter is the move.

And speaking of sweetness, save room for dessert. Specifically: the Shoefly Pie, which doesn't materialize nearly often enough in my travels around town, and is phenomenal here. The crust is as dense and buttery as shortbread, and the pie features deep pools and sneaky rivulets of sticky-icky-icky molasses.

THE VERDICT
Butterfunk Kitchen is a big win for Windsor Terrace, the sort of restaurant locals will likely find themselves eating in again and again. But for anyone along the F or G lines with a frequent craving for Southern cuisine, the Hamilton Parkway stop is literally right across the street, and Butterfunk is well worth a quick trip.

Butterfunk Kitchen is located at 1295 Prospect Avenue, right near Greenwood Avenue, and is open on Tuesday through Sunday at 5:30 to 10:00 on weeknights, and until 11:00 on Friday and Saturday. CLOSED MONDAYS. CASH ONLY. (917-909-0421; butterfunkkitchen.com)