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  • Writer's pictureMary Ann

New East Nashville Restaurant, East Side Bánh Mì, Will Open Its Doors August 2020

credit East Side Banh Mi

1000 Gallatin Avenue, Nashville, TN 37206

Hours of Operation:

Monday-Friday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Saturday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

credit East Side Banh Mi

Husband and wife duo Grace Nguyen and Chad Newton have announced their new concept, East Side Bánh Mì, a fast-casual restaurant specializing in artisanal, locally-sourced bites and Vietnamese-style bánh mì sandwiches.  East Side Bánh Mì will serve a menu of classics—such as a cold cut combo with ham hock terrine, pâté and smoked bologna, marinated and seared chopped steak, and impossible "pork” meatball—all on house-baked bread. Through their accomplished careers as chefs and restaurateurs with various concepts along the West Coast, Nguyen and Newton have stoked a passion for combining genuine hospitality and authentic cuisines with fresh, thoughtfully-sourced local ingredients.

Anticipating an August 2020 opening, East Side Bánh Mì is located in the hustle and bustle of Gallatin Pike in restaurant hub East Nashville, and will be open to the public for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday. For those wanting a sneak peek of what East Side Bánh Mì has to offer, guests can stop by Jackalope Brewing Company’s taproom, The Ranch (429B Houston St), on select Saturdays this summer: June 20 from 1 to 4 p.m.,as well as June 27, July 11 and July 18 (times TBA via social media).

A Modern Take on Traditional Vietnamese

The menu at East Side Bánh Mì is best described as artisanal, locally-sourced, and authentic. Through their various experiences on the West Coast, Nguyen and Newton are committed to bringing Music City a traditional Vietnamese fare with local, fresh produce at the forefront of their menu. Diners can enjoy a selection of Vietnamese sandwiches and bowls, designed to broaden flavor profiles and draw attention to the unique herbs and spices. All bánh mì sandwiches will be served on a fresh house baked 10” baguette with fried shallot mayo, pickles, cilantro, jalapeños, and  Maggi. Standout sandwiches include the No. 1 (ham hock terrine, pate, and smoked bologna by Gifford’s Smoked Meats), the Impossible ("Xiu Mai" impossible meatballs, roasted and smashed) and the Brisket (slow-smoked Bear Creek Farm beef brisket), with limited availability daily. In addition to traditional bánh mìs, the menu will include bowls served with a choice of crispy pork stick or crispy impossible stick and a choice of protein (roasted lemongrass chicken, roasted caramel pork, chopped steak, chili crisp tofu and roasted eggplant, and Albacore tuna with spicy tomato sauce). Guests can choose from three bowls: Gracie’s Big Salad (choice of protein, Bloomsbury Farm greens, green papaya, pickles, herbs, fried shallots, roasted peanuts, and citrus-soy vinaigrette), the Rice Noodle Bowl (choice of protein, chilled rice noodles, Bloomsbury Farm greens, pickles, herbs, fried shallots, roasted peanuts and spicy fish sauce), and the Broken Rice Bowl (choice of protein, jasmine rice, pickles, herbs, fried shallots, roasted peanuts, and spicy fish sauce). East Side Bánh Mì will also be serving two types of spring rolls (Shrimp plus Tofu and Veggie).

To compliment a food menu full of diverse flavors, East Side Bánh Mì will also serve traditional Vietnamese beverages including Toasted Peanut Rice Milk and Vietnamese Iced Coffee by Nguyen Coffee Supply.

Fast-Friendly Flair

East Side Bánh Mì’s interior, complete with seafoam walls and pops of pinks and coral, offers an elevated, yet modern look for fast-friendly dining. The 1,200 square foot space seats 28, featuring various seating vignettes, including a dining room, window counter and a contactless pick up station. East Side Bánh Mì has also partnered with local artisan, RV Pottery, which designed custom plate ware for the restaurant.

Bánh Who?

As Executive Chef and Founder of East Side Bánh Mì, Nguyen leads the restaurant’s accomplished team with Newton. Raised in Houston, Texas, Nguyen spent the bulk of her childhood baking breads at home with her mother, as well as learning about Asian cuisine through her grandmother's traditional Vietnamese dishes. Nguyen’s dedication to mastering her craft continued as she attended California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, California. After graduating, she worked as the sous chef and then the chef de cuisine at various acclaimed restaurants in the San Francisco area. In 2011, Nguyen was approached by Asian Box to spearhead the kitchen and menu development for his latest concept. For Nguyen, it was a natural fit, bringing together the Asian style of cooking and working with fresh ingredients—both of which she loves. Creating a menu based on simple preparation, the use of top ingredients, having a sense of authenticity, and not to mention the completely gluten free nature of the concept, inspired her in the kitchen and pushed her to a new level of creativity. 

As a partner in East Side Bánh Mì, Newton heads up overall brand development, the facilitation of farm and purveyor relationships, and front of house management for the establishment. He attended San Diego State University and later San Francisco State University, graduating with a degree in Restaurant Management. Following graduation, he held executive chef and consulting chef positions at several acclaimed Bay Area restaurants. Newton started Asian Box with then partners Frank Klein and Nguyen in 2012 to bring Palo Alto authentic, healthy Asian street food in a fine-casual environment. Newton helped grow the brand from a single unit to 10 in just seven years. Newton is responsible for oversight of the supply chain, menu development, quality and culinary consistency alongside Nguyen.

The couple takes pride in partnering with like-minded purveyors that provide the highest quality ingredients and help to continue their values of sustainability at East Side Bánh Mì, in hopes of providing local Nashvillians with an exceptionally tasty and quality cuisine that also supports local purveyors.


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