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November 21, 2003, Volume 3 Number 47

Last night I had the opportunity to attend the official opening of T.G.I. Friday's Patio Area, which coincided with the launch of their exciting new Steakhouse Select Promotion. Although the rain moved the celebration and reception activities indoors, I opted to sit outside on the patio under one of the huge parasols that amply cover the tables. It wasn't the food that amazed and astonished me so much as it was the "action" taking place just a few feet away beyond the rails of the patio deck. Scores of tourists were strolling up and down the sidewalks of what has become one of Tumon's busier promenades - right at the top of Pleasure Island! Friday's patio deck is one of the prime vantage points for observing the tourism engine in action. You can see it in their faces and hear it in their voices - a special animated excitement, mixed with curiosity and purpose. I exchanged glances and smiles with some of those walking by, and felt it strangely ironic that I was part of an attraction that allowed me to watch visitors who were watching me. Sort of a mutual appreciation kind of thing! Of course, it is a splendid achievement for the management of Friday's to build this patio extension, which will definitely be a thriving destination, as is the surrounding area of the JP Super Store/Guam Plaza, which re-engineered this property to attract and retain the significant foot traffic. McDonald's, Gloria Jean's and Lin's Jewelry are all benefiting from this energized economic cluster that embodies the old saying, "If you build it, they will come." It is a shining example that demonstrates confidence in the future of Guam's tourism industry!

Ken - the "Guam Food Guy"

In Today's Issue:

  • Nu-Form Innovative Fitness For Women - Affirming Positive Life Choices
  • "We've Got the Blues" KGTF Fund-Raiser - Friday November 21 at Fishbowl
  • Thanksgiving Specials - From Turkey-to-Go, Traditional, Italian and Chinese!
  • Around the Island - Nana's Cafe Lunch Escape, Friday's Steakhouse Selects
  • Launch the Christmas Season - 6th Annual Jingle Bell Run Saturday, Nov 29
  • Big Stomach Restaurant - New Mangilao Chinese Eatery Fills Tummies Affordably

Nu-Form Innovative Fitness For Women - Affirming Positive Life Choices

"Awesome" is a common first impression people feel after a visit to Nu-Form Innovative Fitness for Women which opened last month. In it's own words, Nu-Form is "a uniquely refreshing 'service, support, and education' oriented facility dedicated to the health, fitness & wellness of women on Guam." It offers a range of beneficial programs targeted to assist women in achieving health and well-being goals. The programs include Circuit Training, a full-on Pilates Studio, a MediCorp Nutrition and Weight Management program, and Personal Fitness and Lifestyle Training. Among the amenities is a spa-like ambience (more like a temple) with luxury locker rooms and wide hallways, with tasteful, soothing color tones and inspired art decorations. A private tanning machine is available to get "a little healthy glow", however, the machine that really impresses is the Aqua-Massager, a unique way to get an invigorating body massage without getting completely undressed or wet. Pepe Laflamme, M.Sc., CPT, the Director of Nu-form, has done a remarkable job in transforming this former office space into a fitness haven for women. A new Personal Chef Menu, prepared to order by Analita Basto-Gurwell, is offered to members, with healthy entrees such as Marinated Chicken Breast, Mahi-Mahi and Tofu Steak served with sides and special dressings. The menu has complete nutritional information as well as Diabetic Exchange ratios. Located in the DFS Pacifica Building, Nu-Form's Circuit Class, Pilates Studio Programs, and other class schedules and program information can be found on its web site or you can call 646-FORM (3676).

"We've Got the Blues" KGTF Fund-Raiser - Friday November 21 at Fishbowl

KGTF-TV 12, American Music and Fishbowl have teamed up to launch PBS's upcoming seven-part series "The Blues" with a fund raiser this coming Friday evening, November 21 from 5:30pm-10pm at Fishbowl Bar & Lounge in the Acanta Mall in Tumon. The series "The Blues" from Martin Scorsese will premiere November 30 at 9pm and run thru December 6 on KGTF. Video clips of the series will be shown and music from the series will be played. Your $20 ticket includes a drink, the chance to win raffle prizes and the opportunity to support KGTF and public television on Guam. Tickets are available at KGTF studios in Mangilao, American Music in Tamuning and Fishbowl in Tumon. And, for more information, contact Tammy Bamba at 734-5483.

Thanksgiving Specials - From Feasts-to-Go, Traditional, Italian and Chinese!

Thanksgiving is only a week away and the possibilites for ordering a feast-to-go or making reservations at one of our fine local establishments are vast. A brief roundup of some of the offerings are below but more specials are being added daily so be sure to check the "Thanksgiving Specials" link on the front page of often.

Feasts-To-Go are an increasingly popular choice and while all of them feature most of the traditional fixings along with your turkey each place offers something a bit different. At Planet Hollywood (647-7287) they have Roast Leg of Ham with Pineapple Sauce (yum!), the Westin Resort (649-0915/6) includes Sweet Potatoes and a Walnut Loaf and Le Tasi Bistro (472-7877) offers fresh Rosemary Gravy and a Pumpkin Pie plus an additional pie of your choice either Apple, Lemon Meringue, Pecan or (our favorite) Coconut Cream. Advance reservations and non-refundable deposits are essential so don't delay.

Traditional Thanksgiving brunches and buffets abound all over the island from the Islander Terrace in the Hilton Guam featuring everyone's favorite musical stylist, Romy Poblete; Cafe Kalachucha in the Westin; Palm Garden at the Palace Hotel and many others. Smaller venues as well offer special menus including Roy's where Chef Eddie will prepare a set menu for Thanksgiving Eve and Thanksgiving Night. Le Tasi Bistro will again prepare what is one of the best Thanksgiving meals on island featuring a divine Pumpkin Soup and awesome Sausage & Mushroom Stuffing.

Don't want to eat turkey? Head out to Prego in the Westin Resort Guam for scrumptious Italian antipasto or Genji at Roy's for a lunch buffet of Japanese delicacies or even a Chinese Seafood feast at Yuan San in the Grand Plaza Hotel.

Around the Island - Nana's Cafe Lunch Escape and Friday's Steakhouse Selects

It was 1:30pm, I was famished, and in the heart of Tumon, and believe it or not, I'd passed the entrance to Nana's Cafe when I stopped, reversed, and parked in front of this beach-front restaurant. Something inside me needed soothing, and my inner voices had beckoned me to Nana's Cafe. Nana's Cafe's tropical, balmy ambiance is an ideal getaway from the hectic pressures (hard to believe we'd have these in 'paradise') of work. It is a soothing and relaxing environment, built with large glass viewing windows to soak in the fabulous essence of "isla paraisu", our island paradise. The break in the rain allowed me to gaze on the beach activities of scores of visitors outside...their frolics in the water reminded me of my reasons for living on Guam, though I regret not spending more time enjoying Guam's natural beauty.

The other great attraction at Nana's is the culinary magic of Chef Kishimoto, whose special creations are crafted to delight the palate and satisfy the appetite. Along with regular lunch menu entrees, Nana's features a selection of Japanese lunch specials and weekly specials. Of the two weekly specials offered, I selected the Grilled Chicken & Baby Back Ribs ($8.75 no service charge here!), which included the salad bar, iced tea, and a miso soup that was above average. The Baby Back Ribs covered my plate! They were served on a mound of steamed rice and with a sauted vegetable combo of bean sprouts, onion, and crisp zucchini. The meaty ribs came right off the bones, and were flavored with a zesty barbecue sauce that I knew was Kishimoto's answer to Tony Roma's. The chicken thigh meat was grilled and sauced the same way, one which retained its juiciness. Kishimoto-san told me that locals like his barbecue. Come taste what he's done to his ribs and other food and you'll see why. Call 646-7803 for information.

T.G.I.Friday's new Steakhouse Selects menu announces that it "...brings the flavor of Big City Steakhouses to Guam." Although we have steakhouses like Lone Star, Outback, and Hy's, Friday's is taking the approach of bringing the classic supper club steak experience found in Chicago and New York to the island. The steak presentations are visually appealing, with each having slightly different ingredient elements complementing the ample meat servings and pile of Cheddar Cheese Mashed Potatoes (included with all entrees). The new line-up includes Balsamic Seared Lamb Chops topped with Vinegar Red Onions; Steak Au Poivre (pepper steak) topped with frizzled Cajun Onions; Bleu Cheese Topped Filet served with Sauteed Mushrooms and Rosemary Grilled Pork Tenderloin topped with Oven Roasted Tomatoes. Sauces, demi-glace and marinade treatments bring sensational new tastes to the Friday's offerings. As a special promotion, all entrees include a chilled Cosmopolitan or a cold bottle of Smirnoff Ice. Don't forget to leave room for a Friday's Sundae, sinfully smothered in hot fudge, whipped cream and chopped nuts, topped by a cherry! "Get a taste of the good life" at Friday's! Call 647-8443 for reservations and information.

Launch the Christmas Season - 6th Annual Jingle Bell Run Saturday, Nov 29

Get ready to stretch those legs and attach those bells, because the 6th Annual Jingle Bell Walk/Fun Run is going to be held on Saturday, November 29, starting at the Royal Orchid Hotel. Show time is 5am and go time is 6am. Registration is $10 for individuals and $25 for a family (max of 5). Registration venues are Hornet Sporting Goods, the Guam Hotel & Restaurant Association's Office, and the Royal Orchid Hotel. For more info, contact GHRA at 649-1447.

Big Stomach Restaurant - New Mangilao Chinese Eatery Fills Tummies Affordably

If names are supposed to be symbolic or to have a special meaning and significance, then The Big Stomach Restaurant in Mangilao is aptly titled. Newly opened and celebrating its Grand Opening weekend, The Big Stomach Restaurant's name in Chinese is a way of praising a hearty meal experience - one that literally fills the stomach with food because it's so good. Big Stomach's owner, Steven Wang, and his wife were expecting a baby who was born around the time of the opening, and named their new son David. In Chinese, the phonetic breakdown of infant David's name is "Da Wi Wang", which also means "big stomach". Seems that everyone in this family had a "big stomach" on the same day. How's that for starting a legacy!

Big Stomach Restaurant is located on Route 10 between the Mangilao Retail Store and Public Health, and shares the ground floor of a two-story complex with a sister enterprise, the Family Discount Store. Big Stomach is open daily for lunch from 10 am - 2:30 pm and dinner from 5pm - 9pm, and serves both fast food and a la carte selections both day and night. The restaurant's dining room is bright, well air-conditioned, and larger than its parking lot. Fast food is inexpensively priced, with a one-entree choice starting at $3, two-entree priced at $4, and three for $5. The hot food selections vary each day, with as many as eight different items available. Since I came after 8:15pm, I would suggest ordering a la carte, as the fast food stocks are not as quickly replenished as they would be during peak hours.

The a la carte menu at Big Stomach contains a fairly standard selection of most popular Chinese favorites, such as Kung Pao Chicken ($6.95), Mongolian Beef ($7.50), Ma Po To-Fu with Szechwan Sauce ($6.95), Sauted Squid with Black Bean Sauce ($6.95), Sweet & Sour Shrimp ($8.95), and Combination Fried Noodle ($6.50). These menu prices are for both lunch and dinner, making Big Stomach one of Guam's most affordably-priced Chinese restaurants for dinner.

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