10 questions with Brian Batch of Bird Bird Biscuit

Brian Batch

Brain Batch | Photo provided

This piece is part of our ATXtoday Q+A series. Do you know someone we should interview? Nominate them here.

Brian Batch is the founder of Bird Bird Biscuit in Austin, which is a restaurant that serves melt-in-your-mouth, house-made buttermilk biscuit sandwiches. Bird Bird is cluckin’ pretty loud, as it was recently listed as a top place to eat in the entire country.

We asked Brian 10 questions about running such a beloved restaurant in Austin. Keep reading to find out why many call him the “biscuit whisperer.”

Brian Batch

Brian holding the best-selling “Queen Beak” biscuit sandwich. | Photo provided

How did you feel when you received the news that your restaurant was recently listed as No. 5 in Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2022?

It’s an incredible honor for people to have left Bird Bird with the feeling that it was a place that they wanted to have again in their lives; that is profound. A lot of times when people get off airplanes at the airport, Bird Bird is sometimes the first place they go to. Also, a lot of times when people are leaving Austin, Bird Bird is the last place they go. I see that when I’m there because people come and go with their luggage. When you can treat somebody in a way that you become a part of their story, and it travels all over the country, and the world, I don’t know that I can ever really understand that impact. What is beautiful is the manifestation of it. This Yelp Top 100 is an example of what that looks like in real terms. It’s amazing.

If Austin was a biscuit, what would be its name, and what would be on it?

I think that Austin’s biscuit would be called “Good Times.” I would probably put maple brown sugar sauce on it, bacon, then some fried crispy apple. I would then top that with an over-medium egg and cheese.

You’ve been called the biscuit whisperer; how and when did you get that title?

I definitely did not give myself that title. I can assure you of that. I guess it kind of started off as a joke, but there’s a little bit of truth in the joke. My business partner gives me a hard time in a joking way because of what I love to do, and it’s part of why Bird Bird has been able to continue to evolve and grow.

I will do something 1,000 times, and every single time that I do it, I’m always trying to figure out how to make it just a little bit better. We haven’t stopped trying to make the biscuit better. We’re still doing it. It’s a work in progress.

I firmly believe that when you focus your attention on something, and you’re very intentional about it, it becomes about more than the test you’re doing. It will actually kind of unlock secrets about how your mind works. And that’s why Ryan, my business partner, calls me the biscuit whisperer, because I have legitimately learned things about life in general from making biscuits, life lessons. So, that has, I think, allowed me to not only really enjoy what I do, but put my heart, soul, and everything I have into it. It’s a part of my life. I’m always making the biscuit in my mind.

What do you think this national recognition by Yelp means for the Austin food community?

I hope the community is proud for Austin to be on the map and represented in this field, and I hope that Bird Bird is a good example. I hope we’re doing a good job of showing the United States what Austin has to offer because we’re trying to treat people right at Bird Bird, and we really strive to make sure that everybody feels welcomed, cared about, and has a great experience.

What was your favorite memory from attending UT?

I attended back when Kevin Durant was playing basketball there. It was kind of the tail end of when Vince Young had kind of just moved on from UT. There was this really cool moment where I was in Gregory Gym and Kevin Durant came in; then Vince Young, and they were playing basketball together. It was this wild moment where everybody was just like, “Oh, man, that’s Kevin Durant. He’s here to play basketball. This is great. We’re gonna get to watch Kevin Durant play.” Then, Vince Young rolls in, and they just kind of mess around with each other, just seeing these guys in their element. They were just cool with one another, and the way that everybody else perceived the situation. It was just so memorable.

Describe your perfect day in Austin in the length of a Tweet.

The first thing that I would do is wake up and spend a little time in meditation. After that, I would ideally hang out with my kids for a little bit, maybe take them to Alliance Children’s Garden at Butler Park. After that, I would probably check in at Bird Bird and make sure everything is going well.

You can only choose one local restaurant menu to bring with you to a deserted island — which one is it and why?

I guess if I had to say something it might be Magnolia Cafe because it has pretty much all the elements of what I would like to eat at any given time during the day. If I wanted something healthy, I could find something healthy. If I wanted something a little indulgent, I could find that, and I could get a chocolate pancake with bananas and pecans, or I could get a salad. And I think that that would be a really valuable thing. If I were to go to a deserted island there would be some variety.

biscuit sandwich

The “Bird Bird Bacon” will have you oinkin’ for more. | Photo by ATXtoday team

Why do you think Austin is the best city for your business? What makes Austin special to you?

Well, I think that Austin is a boiling pot of a lot of factors that allow things to thrive. You have all the different sectors of tech that come here, and it’s somewhat insulated from a lot of the recessionary factors that happen in other places because of the businesses that are here. So, that right off the bat, makes it a really strong place to have a business. Then, just in terms of the kinds of people that you get in Austin, it’s a lot more diverse. I think that diversity is really important for ideas to flourish and give them an opportunity. I think that’s also one of the reasons why Bird Bird has been able to do well because it just so happens that the biscuits are pretty open for anybody to come try it, and so we have a place where a lot of different people that are coming to Bird Bird. You’ll see older people, younger people, people from all different walks of life, and all different countries come to Bird Brid, and they’re just there for the biscuit. I think that’s beautiful.

What’s something that every Austinite should know about?

It’s an interesting question to ask a non-Austinite, because I’m not from Austin. I can’t claim to know, like all of the deep history about this place. There are a couple places that I think are doing really good work right now in terms of the food scene. There’s a food trailer called Sammataro Pizza. I think that that place has, in my experience, some of the best pizza that I’ve had in Austin. In that same food park, there’s also this place called Cuantos Tacos that are delicious. There’s also a great coffee shop called Try Hard. Those guys do great work. So, that would be like my little trifecta of experiences.

Where do you see yourself and business in 10 years?

I have no idea. The reason why I can’t really answer that question is because everything that’s going to happen 10 years from now is basically going to be the collection of all the right moments done with intention. A lot of what I think about in my day-to-day life is just the next right moment, doing the next best thing, and trusting that it is going to manifest the reality that’s supposed to come to me.

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