Eats & Greets: Krisp Bird & Batter A Welcome Fast-Casual Addition To Richmond Avenue

Krisp Bird & Batter opened in late February at 5922 Richmond just off of Fountainview. Its mission: to perfect the art of the chicken sandwich.

Ben McPherson is the chef, and his past Houston-area gigs include Batanga and Prohibition Supperclub & Bar. He’s applying the same sensibilities regarding ingredient sourcing and quality to Krisp Bird & Batter. That means his sandwiches start with pasture-raised, hormone- and antibiotic-free chicken from Crystal Valley Farms.

Ben McPherson at Krisp
Chef Ben McPherson of Krisp Bird & Batter. Photo by Phaedra Cook

Stop right now if you’re thinking this is fancied-up Chick-fil-A. That would be like comparing a high-end, craft burger joint to McDonalds. McPherson spent years perfecting his fried chicken game. The smoked fried chicken at Prohibition (which he developed with fellow chef at the time Matt Wommack) was amazing, yet he still spent months refining his chicken sandwich recipe and serving it at pop-ups before Krisp Bird & Batter opened.

It’s important to head there with those distinctions in mind so there is no sticker shock. Two sandwiches with a Kale Salad, side of waffle fries, housemade lemonade and cold brew made with locally roasted Boomtown Coffee totaled $32.95. That said, it was a huge meal for two and next time around we’d drop either the fries or the salad from our order, which would have brought it below $30, easily.

Classic chicken sandwich at Krisp
The “base model” chicken sandwich at Krisp, The Classic. Photo by Phaedra Cook

These well-made chicken sandwiches are sizable, yet have a lightweight mouth-feel. Consuming one leaves a good feeling afterward, not a bloated and heavy one. There are five topping options and all have a choice of a white, wheat or waffle bun.

Of course, that means there’s a “chicken and waffle” option with Crystal’s Hot Sauce, maple syrup butter and slaw dressed with apple cider vinegar. The “base model” sandwich, or the Krisp Classic, is very similar, sans the waffle.

We tried The Southwest—mainly because queso on sandwiches is irresistible. Fresh cilantro, avocado and fresh jalapeños balance the cheesy indulgence. Rounding out the sandwich list is The KFC—for Korean Fried Chicken, of course—with spicy chili sauce and kimchi, and The Klub, with avocado, thick-cut bacon, lettuce and tomato.

chicken tenders at Krisp
You can get chicken tenders at Krisp Bird & Batter, too, but honestly, why when there are so many awesome sandwiches to choose from? Photo by Phaedra Cook

The restaurant’s commitment to reducing waste does mean that the serving style for dine-in is a little weird. Our sandwiches were placed directly on a papered tray and not individually wrapped. That meant the drippy queso on The Southwest sandwich did made a bit of a mess. Waffle-cut fries and tater tots are thankfully corralled in paper containers. The only other potential issue is one we’ll happily live with: not all naturally-raised chickens are the same size, so you might end up with a hunk of breast meat that’s a little smaller or larger than your neighbor’s.

If chicken tenders are more your thing, those can be had as well with the same crispy seasoned batter coating. Honestly though, the creative, top-notch sandwiches are where it is at.

Wedged between the between restaurant-rich Galleria and the Mahatma Gandhi District, Krisp Bird & Batter is an approachable, high quality, fast casual option to an area that really needed one.

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