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February 27, 2004, Volume 4 Number 9

Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

"Biba Chammoro!" March is officially Chamorro Month, and though this annual celebration has promoted the Chamorro culture and language, this year's month-long celebration will highlight food awareness through several planned events, one of which has far-reaching and long term consequences with unprecedented benefits to Guam. The Maila ya ta fan Boka (Come and Let's Eat) event is scheduled March 6 at the Agana Shopping Center. Its purposes are to enhance the awareness of Chamorro cuisine for Guam's visitors, to encourage restaurants to feature Chamorro dishes on their menus, and to showcase Chamorro cuisine in promotional literature developed by the Guam Visitors Bureau.

The GVB, in conjunction with the Micronesian Chefs Association, has organized separate culinary competitions for professionals and amateurs, with Chicken Kelaguen as the sole category for amateurs to enter. The professionals must prepare 3 dishes (appetizer,entree, and dessert), as well as create an original recipe. On March 13 there will be Chamorro Food Tasting at the Guam Premier Outlets. A third food-related event, the Kadon Pika Competition will be held on March 20 at Cost-U-Less in Tamuning.

Of course there are always places you can enjoy Chamorro favorites almost every day like the Chamorro Village, Y Kusina, Josephine's, King's Restaurant, and Tumon's Giant Lobster and Steak Restaurant, which features a surprisingly good chicken kelaguen. Yes, March will certainly entertain and delight our palettes, as well as feed our minds with a variety of performing arts, presentations, and language competitions. It's a great time to learn about this special, beautiful island we call home!

Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"

In Today's Issue:

  • Japan Club Arts & Crafts Fair - Sunday, February 29 Guam Reef Hotel
  • Congratulations to Roland & Casey! - Two Favorites to Wed
  • Around the Island: Jan Z's, Lenten Specials at King's, Michelle's Coffee Shop
  • Women's Health Experience - Don't Miss This Event Sat. March 6
  • Caravel Restaurant - Onward's "Hidden" Eatery Offers Splendid Italian Dining

Japan Club Arts & Crafts Fair - Sunday, February 29 Guam Reef Hotel

The 6th Japan Club Arts & Crafts Fair will be held this Sunday on the 18th Floor of the Guam Reef Hotel, starting at 11am and ending at 4pm. It will be an excellent opportunity to view exhibits and to buy a variety of handicrafts and other products, including quilts, ceramics, dolls, jewelry, paintings, sumie, calligraphy, fans, and rice paper mosaics. A Tea Ceremony will be held, and if you've not seen or participated in one before, it is certainly worth your while. The tea ceremony emphasizes the spirit of "wabi", which is a desire to be materially simple and spiritually free and full. Traditionally, both hosts and guests truly cherish and value the moment of serving and receiving their cup of tea, as though they would never again experience this encounter for the rest of their lives. Come and learn about Japanese culture through artistic creations. Admission is $1 with proceeds benefiting a local school program called the Japan Ball.

Congratulations to Roland & Casey! - Two Favorites to Wed

We have to offer a big smile and warm hug to love birds and special "foodie" friends, Roland Boudreau and Casey Troung, who are engaged to be married and will be tying the knot soon in a ceremony in Canada attended by family and close friends. Boudreau, whose local food career included managing Hy's Steakhouse and Roy's Restaurant, is now overseeing the Tumon Aquarium and Sam Choy's. Roland has found the love of his life in Casey, the Marketing Manager for Ambros. We are extremely delighted for them and wish this couple a lifetime filled with love discoveries and blissful memories.

Around the Island: Jan Z's, Lenten Specials at King's, Michelle's Coffee Shop

Jan Z's is without a doubt one of the great places for outdoor dining on Guam. Though the view is fantastic as evidenced by the sunset photo sent to us courtesy of Dr. Chad A. Huguenin, head of the dental clinic at Camp Covington and photographer extraordinaire (thanks again, Chad!), the food and friendly local-style service is what makes loyal customers return time after time. If you haven't been down to Jan Z's at the Agat Marina lately or you've never been there at all, take the time to meander your way south to this truly delightful eatery. Breakfasts are spectacular, the burgers are legendary and the seafood specials always feature a creative twist. Even if you turn up solo, the staff and guests will make you feel at home - it's just the way things are at Jan Z's! Call them at 565-2814 or just go; they are open daily from 8am-10pm.

It's Lenten Season and many restaurants are adjusting their menus accordingly by offering meatless fare. King's features breakfast and lunch specials, including Shrimp Scrambler, Bangus (milk fish) & Eggs, Salmon & Eggs, Crispy Fish Salad, Grilled Red Snapper, and a Salmon Dinner.

You gotta give food entrepreneur, Steve Dormer, a lot of credit. His Fast Freddy's Sandwiches & Subs has opened in his Mangilao Mama Tita's location (talk about co-branding) and has already gained a following. Fast Freddy's offers two homemade breads - a French Sub Roll or thick sliced Honey Seven Grain Bread. There are 20 sandwiches on the menu, with the Ruben (without the Rye) getting raves from diners and priced at $5.69, which is the most expensive. The least expensive are the Tuna and the All Veggie for $3.29 each. Wry humor is used with some of their names, such as the Italian Stallion (no horsemeat!) and Yesterday's Soup. It all adds to the colorful upbeat tone and style of this clean, efficient operation. Call 734-4100 for advance orders.

Next to Mama Tita's/Fast Freddy's is Michelle's Coffee Shop, which has a really good Hot & Sour Soup ($5.50) and lots of other Chinese dishes served at lunch and dinner times. The breakfast menu includes Michelle's Fried Rice and Michelle's Seafood Omelette. Sweet Potato Fries are on the menu for $3.50 and these are worth trying because they're really tasty. Michelle's serves Mangilao's best coffee - Illy Coffee, with a Cappuccino going for $2.50. Call 734-7722 for take-out and more info.

Fast Wok's recent review has brought many new customers according to owner, Mindy Lee. This restaurant is quickly rising as a favorite for many - they are really doing a great job with their food. Try the Salt & Pepper Shrimp ($8.95) and tell me you're not impressed. The Crispy Fried Noodle ($8.95) is served correctly, with the sauce in a separate bowl, not served on top, which makes the noodles soggy since there's no fun when there's no crunch! Call 647-8989 for take-out.

Women's Health Experience - Don't Miss This Event Sat. March 6

If you're a woman concerned about her health or there is an important woman in your life that you want to see live a long, healthy and fulfilling life, be sure to participate in the Women's Health Experience which will be held Saturday, March 6 at the Outrigger Guam. This event is all about women's health, fitness and wellness. Registration fees are $10 for early sign-up and $15 at the door. Early registration can be done at the American Cancer Society office in Hagatna or at Nu-Form Innovative Fitness for Women in Tamuning.

Registration fees include attendance at the day long event, a Spa Cuisine Lunch Buffet, a goodie bag stuffed with samples, coupons, etc. and entry into the drawing for the Grand Prize a "Total Body Makeover." Check-in and late registration begins at 8:30am with opening remarks at 9am. Questions can be directed to Nu-Form at 646-3676.

Caravel Restaurant - Onward's "Hidden" Eatery Offers Splendid Italian Dining

If it's Italian you're seeking then it's Italian you'll get at Caravel Restaurant, a surprising discovery that astonished and delighted during a recent dining adventure. Caravel is located on the beach level of the Onward Resort, and opened a few months back after undergoing extensive renovation. Caravel is only open for dinner, Tuesday through Sunday from 5:30pm-10:30pm.

I'd been tipped off about Caravel by the executive chef of one of Guam's larger hotels, who had eaten there in December and told me that the food was really good. Coming as this did coming from a gentleman who hails from Europe, this endorsement carried some weight and I'd been planning to review this restaurant ever since. Now that I've dined there, I am unable to control my enthusiasm over Caravel, and my deep admiration for the culinary talents of Yoji Akiyama, Executive Sous Chef and Caravel Manager, who has made this menu "rock" with awesome, authentic creations.

We started off with a Spinach & Pancetta Salad ($8.95), which had warmed fresh spinach, bacon, almond & balsamic vinegar, along with onions, tomatoes, black olives, garlic and egg. The bacon is the Italian version known as pancetta and while it is cured with salt, pepper, and other spices it is not smoked. Taken only from the belly, it's generally sold rolled up into sausages, as opposed to American bacon, which is taken from the sides and belly, usually smoked and cut into slices. The spinach was not cooked at all and only heated by the sauteed mix of ingredients. This was the kind of salad that you ate without stopping...hoisting delicious bites you don't want to miss! This was accompanied by the Oven Baked Garlic Bread ($2.95) we ordered, which is served in two large slices. It was like a toasted baquette, and had chunks of roasted garlic on top of its buttery face.

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Buon Appetito!

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