Kevin Ren/Contributing Photographer

A fast favorite for lovers of soul food and fried chicken, Muffer’s Kitchen is Binghamton’s little slice of down-home cuisine located at 62 Glenwood Ave. A family operation, Muffer’s offers a fairly simple menu that ensures every meal is cooked “just like Mama used to make.” While most of their Restaurant Week specials are just expanded forms of their regular menu items, Muffer’s is also using the week to experiment with other soul food favorites.

According to owner Damien Cornwell, the recipes and traditions employed by Muffer’s have their roots in Alabama. In the 1930s, Cornwell’s grandparents moved from Alabama to the Binghamton area, where they had 16 children. Growing up, Damien and his 63 cousins took to affectionately calling their grandmother “Muffer.” The restaurant is a tribute to the memory of the late matriarch.

For the entrées, Muffer’s dinner menu consists of either pork chops or fried chicken, each coming with two soulful sides such as collard greens and baked beans in addition to a deliciously moist corn bread. While only side dishes, Muffer’s sides definitely aren’t side notes. Each is substantial and packed with flavor, serving to enhance the meal rather than merely supplement it.

While its other offerings served to be delicious, Muffer’s biggest draw is definitely its fried chicken. Crispy, tender and always cooked to perfection, it’s the type of chicken you can’t cook without love, care and respect that the 80-plus year-old recipe commands. This isn’t just fried chicken, this is soul food.

For lunch, Muffer’s is experimenting with a familiar dish to fans of soul food: a plate of chicken and waffles. Do yourself a favor and give this dish a try. Both the waffles and the chicken would be great on their own. But together, served with a choice of either caramel syrup or lemon sauce, they complement each other in perfect harmony. Muffer’s is experimenting with the dish over Restaurant Week to see if it will fit in its normal menu, but it definitely leaves a lasting and mouth-watering impression.

At a price of $15 for lunch and $20 for dinner, Muffer’s also offers appetizers and desserts. Both lunch and dinner offer an appetizer choices of chicken soup, fried mixed vegetables or a mixed green salad and a dessert choice of sweet potato pie or chocolate cake, with the former highlighting of the dessert offerings. The sweet potato pie is sweet without being sugary and instead relying on the delicate sweetness of nutmeg and cinnamon. It’s a fresh and pleasant endnote to a very filling meal.

If nothing else, Muffer’s Kitchen provides a good meal at decent prices. The food is simple, and that’s where it draws its success. By carefully seasoning and cooking the food, Muffer’s achieves at delivering intense flavor from unpretentious ingredients.

Muffer’s Kitchen is a welcoming space. As a family operation, you can taste that everyone involved is personally invested in the success of the restaurant and the quality of food.