Nashville's Catbird Seat Guys Tell Us Where They Grab Banh Mis and Spam Sandwiches
Josh Habiger (left) and Erik Anderson (right)Where do you guys like to go eat when you're leaving your restaurant?
Each week in our new Off Duty series, we'll talk to some of our favorite chefs and industry folk around the country to find out their secret late-night spots where they like to grab a bite and a pint when their kitchens are finally closed. Next up: Josh Habiger and Erik Anderson, chefs at Nashville's The Catbird Seat.
Josh Habiger: Nolensville Road is where all the ethnic food is. There's a spot on Nolensville called Interasian Market. It's owned by a Vietnamese family and they make banh mi there, but there's no menu. You just sort of walk in and tell the person at the register that you want three banh mi's or whatever, and he gets on a walkie talkie to the back and then you wait around for five minutes or so and then someone comes up and hands you a bag.
Erik Anderson: They make roast pork on the weekends and spring rolls and all that stuff. There's a little deli counter in there.
How did you first come across this place?
JH: Someone told me about this secret banh mi thing and I went in there one day. They're super good.
How long have you been going there?
JH: I don't know, a year and a half I guess.
And besides Banh mi, do they have other specialties?
EA: Yeah the roast pork and spring rolls. They have this little hot counter and deli stuff.
JH: It's an Asian grocery store, too, so they have fresh produce and all that stuff.
What's your favorite thing to get there?
EA & JH: The banh mi.
The tradional banh mi, with the pate?
JH: Yeah, there's no options. [It'] sliced beef pate, pickles...
EA: Yeah [I get the banh mi, too]. I live right down the street. A guy and his dad run it and the mom does all the cooking in the back. They're super, super nice. There's usually grandkids running around. It's a family-run place.
Any fun anecdotes?
EA: [We have more] anecdotes at this place called Paradise Park that's where we go after work if we're drinking.
JH: Yeah that's a good place for late-night burgers. It's right on lower-Broadway.
What makes the burgers so good?
JH: 'Cause it's the only thing open at that time...
EA: [laughs] And you're usually pretty drunk.
How long have you guys been going there?
JH: I started going there in 2009 -- it was one of the first places I started going to in Nashville.
EA: [I've been going] probably for a year and a half since I moved here. I'll usually have a couple of drinks and then grab something there before I go home.
Do you guys always go for the burgers?
EA: I go for the spam sandwich.
What do they put on it besides spam?
EA: Mayo, lettuce, cheese, tomato, white bread.
JH: Their tator tots and the fried chicken sandwich is good, too.
So tell me your funny stories about nights there.
JH: The nacho cheese [story].
EA: Yeah, one of our [chefs] was loaded one night and started drinking straight up nacho cheese. So I took a picture and put it up on Instagram and I think his girlfriend was a little disappointed. He was pretty drunk. Usually you're there drinking. I don't think I've ever been there sober. Have you Josh?
JH: When I first moved here I went there for lunch a couple times. But now I know better.
Interasian Market, 2160 Nolensville Pike, Nashville; Mon-Sat, 9am-8:30pm; Sun, 9am-8pm
Paradise Park Trailer Resort, 411 Broadway, Nashville; Daily, 10:30am-4am