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July 4, 2003, Volume 3 Number 27

Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

I've returned to Houston from what can only be described as a glorious family reunion in Bellefontaine, Ohio. It was a long-awaited reconnection with my roots and relatives, something that's not been done since 1976. I was a young adult during that previous gathering, newly-married with our daughter not yet born. The time that's passed since has seen new faces appear and old ones pass away, and has given me a more mature perspective on life, allowing me to relate to all my relatives in a way I was incapable of before.

This reunion was particularly significant since there was a large contingent of my immediate and extended family attending together for the first time ever, coming from Arizona, Houston, and Guam, which impressed everyone else! In fact, I received the award for having come the greatest distance (a centennial umbrella). There was much to do and to discover. I learned that our Ohio ancestors had operated a "safe house" for slaves in a stop on the "Underground Railroad" before the Civil War, and that we had relatives who were among some of Ohio's first settlers.

Though Ohio was great, I have to admit that I had much better food experiences in Louisiana, where I was able to visit during a brief drive from Houston to Lake Charles. We stopped by Steamboat Bill's on the Lake, which was Voted #1 for Crawfish & Seafood in Southwest Louisiana! We had their Shrimp Gumbo, Boiled Spicy Shrimp, and a Captain's Platter that had a Frog Leg, Stuffed Shrimp, Catfish, Oysters, Stuffed Crab, and Medium Fried Shrimp - talk about "DEE-licious!"" My being from Guam has awed a few folks here, and describing our friendly people and natural beauty makes me feel blessed. Thankfully I'll be home on Guam in time for the 4th! See you then!

Ken, "the Guam Food Guy"

In Today's Issue:

Around the Island - Subashini Indian Cuisine, OHG Kid's Menu, Outback Rules

Lovers of Indian Food working or living in the Hagatna area will be rushing over to the Chamorro Village to try Subashini Indian Cuisine. Only open for about 2 weeks, they are located directly through the dining pavilion on the left next to Nita's Fast Food. I tried a quick lunch there this week and was pleasantly surprised by the quality and variety. With the standard 1-choice ($3.95), 2-choice ($4.95), etc. you receive lots of flavorful rice, a freshly fried Pappadam Bread and dessert along with your choices which on this day included Eggplant Masala, Chicken Curry, Beef & Lentil Masala, Chicken Tandoori and others. Vegans will be in heaven as they provide at least 2 to 3 such choices each day. There are also several a la carte menu such as Samosas (a happy diner rushed up to the window with a half eaten Samosa in hand wanting to know what it was called so she could order it again!) Starting on Monday, July 7 they will be open from 7am - 6pm. They don't have a phone yet so just drop by and enjoy!

We were delighted to learn that Old Hagatna Grill has introduced a Kid's Menu which is offered for both lunch and dinner. This makes it so much easier for gourmet loving parents to enjoy a fine meal without having to stress over what the children will like and eat. Included on the menu are such 'kid friendly' favorites as Macaroni & Cheese and Crispy Breaded Chicken Strips with French Fries & Ranch Dressing. Best of all, they are wallet friendly as well at only $5.95! Bring the kids along next time and make everyone happy. Call 472-5885 for reservations or information.

Friends visiting home from off-island report that Outback Steakhouse continues to deliver a consistently high standard of service and quality of food. Having been in the Middle East for over 2 years, they had a serious craving for pork of all types and Outback filled the bill with their awesome ribs and chops. And, the bartender remembered their preferred wine as soon as they sat down to wait for a table. Kudos to the team at Outback for taking such pride in what they do.

4th of July - Hilton Guam, Manhattan Happy Hour Salutes the Lone Star State

Here on Guam we definitely celebrate Liberation Day in a larger fashion than Independence Day on the 4th but the Hilton hasn't forgotten and will be celebrating at Islander Terrace with a special Lunch Buffet on Friday, July 4 from 11:30am to 2pm and a fabulous Seafood Buffet Extravaganza with all-you-can-drink beer that evening from 6pm - 9pm. Reservations are recommended so call them up at 646-DINE(3463).

If you want to get an early start on the 4th of July, drop by the Manhattan Happy Hour at Sandcastle on Thursday, July 3rd for Chef Deborah's culinary tribute to the great state of Texas. On the menu you will find Texas Style Barbecue (Chicken, Ribs, and Beef), Barbecued Pulled Pork, Firehouse Texas Chili, Chicken Fried Steak, Peach Cobbler and Pecan Pie. Yum, yum - round up your little dogies and head for the high range at Manhattan.

Planet Hollywood's Rush Hour Lunch - A Great Value Menu for All Tastes

One of the on-going projects for diners on Guam is to find a place which offers great value, a good selection and a nice atmosphere for lunch. Planet Hollywood has met the challenge with their new Rush Hour Lunch Specials. Offering six different choices all priced at $7.95 (inclusive) and including all-you-can-drink Pepsi products this a great place to bring the office, meet friends or have a casual business lunch without breaking the budget. We really like that this menu is available Monday to Friday from 11am until 3pm which makes it great for an early or late lunch.

I visited Planet Hollywood twice over the past couple of weeks to sample all of the dishes and am happy to report that there is literally "something for every taste" on the menu. You might have to request the Rush Hour Lunch Menu as we weren't given the menu when we were seated either time and I observed that other local diners were not automatically offered the menu. I asked why this was the case and it appears that it was an oversight on the part of the hostess as Planet Hollywood wants to encourage local diners to order from this menu. Anyway, don't hesitate to ask for the Rush Hour menu if it isn't offered immediately.

Here are the menu selections and our impressions of each:

Quartered BBQ Chicken - This was in a very nice sweet, smoky bbq sauce and the chicken was especially juicy and flavorful. It was served with a mix of seasonal vegetables including onions, zucchini and red bell peppers along with steamed Jasmine rice. Everyone agreed they would order this again and gave it a very good rating.

Beef Teriyaki - The beef was thinly sliced and a good quality but we thought the sauce was a little too sweet. If you like a very sweet teriyaki you will like this one. It did have lots of chopped green onions and sesame seeds sprinkled on top which made for a nice presentation.

Smoked Turkey Sandwich - This was an awesome sandwich as it was made from a really delicious brioche bread. There was plenty of tasty smoked turkey, Swiss cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. It was served with french fries. This gets a big thumbs up. This sandwich is worth a trip to Planet Hollywood.

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Bon Appetit!

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