Oregon is home to a lot of restaurants, bars, wineries, and breweries, but there are tons of hidden gems that the majority of Portlanders just aren't unearthing. To help guide us to these potential discoveries, we've enlisted some of our city's many food luminaries to share their under-the-radar recommendations for a weekly feature dubbed Dining Confidential.
Connor Martin is the longtime chef de cuisine and bartender of Firehouse Restaurant, wood-fired gem in North Portland's Woodlawn neighborhood. A jack of all trades, Connor keeps busy rotating from his place behind the bar to the stove, creating signature cocktails, small batch liqueurs and bitters for the restaurant while managing sourcing, whole animal butchery, and Firehouse's garden. When he's not tending bar or on the line, you'll likely find him slurping noodles just off NE 62nd Avenue at Pho An Sandy.
I first visited Pho An Sandy just after Pho Oregon moved out of the space. Pho Oregon is pretty much the best, so while I was sad to lose my favorite pho joint, I gave Pho An Sandy a go. It definitely exceeded my expectations. It's clean, quaint interior and extremely friendly staff make it a great spot to linger over fresh, well-prepared rice noodle dishes and soups. The proprietor is incredibly nice and always very attentive — proof positive that rice noodles are the food of the gods. I always order the summer rolls with pork skin. That, or the super tasty DIY roll plate, paired with top notch pho make it the best Vietnamese west of 82nd. My girlfriend and I like to go on Sunday nights, and she's gluten-free, so steam buns and summer rolls are a must.
Image of Pho An Sandy courtesy jennifer w. via Yelp