July 16, 2004, Volume 4 Number 29
Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
As I sit here in my airline seat flying back to Guam from Manila, I am amazed by how close we are to the Philippines, both in distance and in culture. Though I've not been to the Philippines since 1998, I feel connected with the people since I love the diverse variety of their cuisine and appreciate its easy availability on Guam. Everyone I talked to at the airport (alas, my trip was a very brief turnaround) exhorted me to return soon and spend time eating my favorite dishes including kare kare, lechon, tinola with malunggay, afritada, adobo, sinigang,and nilaga. This is certainly one of the key attractions the Philippines holds for me, with others being great diving and its rich cultural heritage.
Speaking of heritage, next Wednesday we celebrate Guam's 60th Liberation Day. This is certainly a milestone event, with visiting WWII veterans arriving to be honored while others here will pay tribute to those who gave up their lives to secure the island's freedom. Although much is written in history books and filmed in documentaries about the war and the many Pacific battles, the human toll and perspective can never be fully appreciated without knowing about the innocent people involved and their personal stories. Once you know the people of Guam, Palau, Saipan, Chuuk, Yap, and the other Pacific Islands that were battle grounds, it is much easier to understand and empathize with people who still feel the pain of losing family and friends. There is no compensation for their loss. We must always honor them and never forget their sacrifices. This is a key part of our heritage, and we should support the activities that will memorialize the people and events that took place over six decades ago.
Ken the "Guam Food Guy"
In Today's Issue:
- Boston Pizza's "U Take N Bake" at Harmon Cost-U-Less
- Salon Paradis - A Day Spa Where Beauty, Relaxation & Customer Service Count
- Another Completely Non-Food Plug - Guam Needs to Add to Dogster.com
- Around the Island - Cold Stone Creamery Magic, Tony Roma's ASC Opening
- Sabai Dee Thai Restaurant - Superb Thai Classics Cooked with Passion
Boston Pizza's "U Take N Bake" at Harmon Cost-U-Less
Did you know you can buy a fresh 16" Tomato & Garlic Pizza that you can bake at home for $8.50? Yes, and you can get Italian Sausage ($9) or Chamorro-style ($10) at the Harmon Cost-U-Less' Boston Pizza location. I was pleased to discover this (shows you how much shopping I do) since Boston Pizza in Tumon was my first-ever food review, and I really like their fresh baked pizzas. The 16" size is the only size available for the "U Take N Bake" offering. If you want to wait 7 - 8 minutes, they'll serve you a piping hot 9" pizzette for $4 to $6 depending on the toppings you order. You can even call in advance (637-2777) for their pizzas (they do have delivery in a limited area) and order if you have a craving for a Boston Pizza or need to pick some up for a party.
Salon Paradis - A Day Spa Where Beauty, Relaxation & Customer Service Count
Salon Paradis just opened in the RES Trust Building above My Secret Garden and across from the Gregorio Perez Marina (Boat Basin) in Hagatna. Most people know this as the Old Hagatna Grill Building. Once you enter Guam's newest salon, you'll see why it is causing such a sensation. Salon Paradis' second floor location offers a unique panorama of Boat Basin, Marine Corps Drive, and the ocean beyond. Salon Paradis is the brainchild of Carina Fejeran, who was the Shell LiveWire Award Recipient two years ago. Carina won for having the best business plan for a promising entrepreneurial venture. (She is also my personal hairdresser - what hairs that I have she best maintains!) Unique to Hagatna salons, Salon Paradis offers Spa Manicures & Pedicures, Skin Care, Aromatherapy, Body Relaxation, and Therapeutic Massage in addition to a full range of hair services including Hair Sculpture, Creative Hair Design, Advanced Color Theory, Permanents, and Hair Removal. Their Hagatna location is just footsteps away from Hava Java Cafe and Old Hagatna Grill. I can already envision Old Hagatna Grill/Salon Paradis Day Packages, where you can pamper your body and your palate. Call 477-8917/8 and schedule your personal pampering session.
Another Completely Non-Food Plug - Guam Needs to Add to Dogster.com
There are those out there who will find this a strange mention but my partners in GuamDiner.com are mad about dogs and want all Guam dog lovers to visit Dogster.com and create a special page for your dogs. The site has caused a sensation worldwide with dogs from such diverse countries as Cyprus, the Russian Federation and Argentina. There are over 30,000 dogs on Dogster.com but at present there are only 5 dogs from Guam at the site - so dog lovers post your pups! Guam can be found on the advanced search page in the pull down menu of U.S. & Canada near the bottom of the list just past American Samoa. Here's a shout out to Po, Guam boonie dog extraordinaire!
Around the Island - Cold Stone Creamery Magic, Tony Roma's ASC Soft Opening Hava Java Soda Fountain Favorites
Cold Stone Creamery received a hot welcome at its grand opening last weekend at GPO and I don't think Guam will ever be the same again! This fast-growing franchise has stormed the nation with its super premium boutique build-your-own blend of customized indulgence. Although many braved the rain and long lines to get their first taste of Cold Stone Creamery, I'm sure they'll return again and again to satisfy that eternal craving for ice cream. The Chocolate Devotion (Chocolate Ice Cream, Chocolate Chips, Brownie, & Fudge) was my choice with fresh banana added and served in a fresh baked waffle cone - this was an ice cream fantasy come true! There are so many choices and variations at Cold Stone that you may as well resign yourself to eating something new every time you visit.
Tony Roma's, that famous place for ribs, holds a soft opening for their Agana Shopping Center location this Saturday with the Grand Opening to follow on Liberation Day next week. I am confident they will exceed their expectations for the number of residents lining up for their popular menu items - especially their ribs!
Someone recently asked about where to get the "real deal" for Soda Fountain classics, and I told them they'd be delighted with Hava Java's Soda Fountain Favorites. You can get a Shirley Temple - 7-Up with Grenadine and a Marsachino Cherry; a Cherry Coke - Coke or Diet Coke with Cherry Syrup and a Maraschino Cherry; an Ice Cream Float - Coke, 7-Up or Root Beer topped with Vanilla Ice Cream and my favorite, a Milk Shake "made the old-fashioned way, but worth the wait"! You can also get terrific sandwiches with homemade coleslaw, and free all-you-can-drink iced coffee or iced tea. Call 477-0600 or drop by their new location in downtown Hagatna behind the Post Office and across from BankPacific.
Sabai Dee Thai Restaurant - Superb Thai Classics Cooked with Passion
There are only a few restaurants on Guam that I'd be willing to go out on the street to stop traffic for, and one of them is Sabai Dee Thai Restaurant. Located in the annex beside the old Tamuning Cinema in the same spot that housed the recently-closed Binh Minh; another locator landmark is Alupang Beach Tower, which is just across Marine Corps Drive. My willingness to engage in such extreme behavior is for the simple reason that the food is extremely delicious, easily making my top Thai picks list.
At the wok making all this culinary magic is our good friend Tim Palacios, whom we introduced over a year ago at the Time Out Sports Lounge, where she launched an awesome Thai Lunch Buffet. In this new location, she and her partner, Rose Wood, have combined their talents and resources to create what I hope to be a lasting legacy for Thai food so we can all "bookmark" in it our favorites! I find Tim's food simply mesmerizing, and to give you an idea of it's effect, I've heard several ardent Binh Minh devotees relate that they easily overcame their disappointment after they had a taste of Tim's home-style Thai cooking. Also, I have to mention that the service is really excellent at Sabai Dee. Sabai Dee means "high quality or class" and this meaning certainly applies to both food and service experiences.
The four things I ordered during my lunch visit were the Chicken Wings Appetizer ($6), the Beef Salad (Yum Nu $8), the Spicy Chicken (Phat Ka Pao $8), and the Spicy Noodles (Pad Ki Mow $8). I also had my regular Thai Tea ($2) which was served in a towering pilsner glass. Since I love chicken wings, this was an easy choice (I recall she had fabulous fried chicken wings chasers at Time Out). These were cooked well done, crispy enough to crunch the bones but with a little juice left intact. There were plenty enough to share (about 7 or 8) and they were whole wings, not just pieces. Served with a red chili sauce for dipping, they were just right.
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