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January 7, 2004, Volume 5 Number 1


Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

You had to be there to experience the goose bumps and tears welling up when the 5-year old boy ambled up to the donation table, trailed by his parents, his arms grasping an oversize piggy bank jar filled with coins and a few dollar bills. This was somebody's savings for a "rainy day" and I can assure you that it must have meant a lot to give it up. Fortunately, it was for a good cause, since it was a donation to the South East Asia Tsunami victims in the fund-raising drive (organized by the Red Cross in conjunction with Gino's) at the Agana Shopping Center last Sunday.

Aside from the obvious photo opportunity this child's contribution created, it was representative of many people's desire to help our neighbors by giving what cash they can. It was especially poignant since it was a child clutching a jar filled with coins to help hundreds of thousands of children now in need of food, shelter, and security. The Tsunami relief effort is something we must continue to support as long as assistance is needed, so when and if you see or hear of any public fund raising events, please make an effort to contribute, even if it is just a few dollars, as they all add up. Get you children involved and make them aware...you'll be amazed at how charitable, open-hearted, and sympathetic your kids can be when they see other children suffering.

I have not talked to restaurants about this, but I believe it would be terrific if they could work together to find ways to raise money from meal sales that could be contributed to this relief effort. We've had numerous fund-raisers for local events, but I think this could be an on-going fund-raiser that could rotate from one establishment to the next. Since people are already eating out, I don't think they'll have any problem paying a little more (or matching the restaurant's contribution) to help in this worthy humanitarian cause. Let's all think about giving in the same spirit that little boy had when he stretched his arms upward to hand over his savings. He probably didn't even know how much money he gave, he just had a feeling somewhere deep inside that it would help. Here's a link to a list of legitimate relief organizations.

Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"

In Today's Issue:

  • Y Kusina Chamorro Restaurant Moving to the Palace Hotel
  • SunTees/PowerGrafix 7th New Year's Resolution 5K Run, Walk, & Wheel - Jan. 8
  • Uncle Bob's Bacon Cheeseburger Weighs In On Guam's Best Burger Ratings
  • Healthy Events At GMH and Synergy Studio & Cafe
  • Around the Island - King's Ham Hocks, Movie House Grill, Yakitori, Curry Kebab
  • Hy's Steak House - When Two "CABs" Make Dining Fine

Y Kusina Chamorro Restaurant Moving to the Palace Hotel

In what will be great news for our visitor industry, one of Guam's best Chamorro restaurants, Y Kusina, will be relocating from its Tamuning home below Buddies to the former Utage Japanese restaurant location at the Palace Hotel Guam. Saturday, January 15 will be the last day of operation in their original location, so you'd better start running down there daily to fill up on your Kadon Mannok, Kadon Katne, Ham Hocks, Chicken Chalakiles, Fried Parrot Fish, Shrimp Kelaguen & Titiyas, Fried Chicken, and Y Kusina's family of mouth-watering desserts, since they won't be available again until Y Kusina re-opens sometime in the middle of February.

Also, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I officially announced Y Kusina as having Guam's best Fried Pork Chops. I had them the other day after watching former Sen. Toni Sanford relishing hers. I took my time enjoying two meaty chops which were smothered with sauteed onions. The moist meat is specially seasoned and can be eaten alone, however, with finadene, these pork chops are "the bomb'! For $9.50 these are worth the money. Try them and let me know what you think! Call 646-2052 for take-out.

The new Y Kusina will be a unique Chamorro dining experience, and will be open (thank goodness!!) for dinner. Believe me, the Cepeda family is ideally suited for this new role in providing a satisfying, realistic, and authentic local restaurant option to our visitors who have for years been searching for a taste of Guahan. We applaud their success and the management of the Palace for their foresight in placing a bright culinary lamp at their property that will be sure to attract appreciative diners.

SunTees/PowerGrafix 7th New Year's Resolution 5K Run, Walk, & Wheel - Jan. 8

Start the New Year off with a healthy, invigorating run (or walk) at the upcoming SunTees/PowerGrafix 7th New Year's Resolution 5K Run event scheduled for this coming Saturday. You can sign up at The Sun Tees & Power Grafix Center in Tamuning (across from Tick Tock) and at Hornet Sporting Goods. Advance fee for individuals is $6, and race day is $10. Show Time is 5:15am and Go Time is 6am. There will be lots of prizes & refreshments, as well as a free official New Year's T-shirt. The proceeds for the race will be going to the Earthquake/Tsunami Relief Fund.

Uncle Bob's Bacon Cheeseburger Weighs In On Guam's Best Burger Ratings

Uncle Bob's is already famous for over-size steaks that "make a proud man humble", and their burgers are made in the same "super-size" tradition. I remember having one of Uncle Bob's burgers maybe 5 or 6 years ago in my pre-GFG days, however, I don't recall it being as big as the Bacon Cheese Burger I recently encountered. Truth be known, '"big" is too small a word to describe this meat monster, it is more like "humongous"! Made with ground chuck, it sells for $9.50 (alone) and $10.75 with Fries. It was actually funny watching a table of four (three guys and a lady, military types) wrestling with these burgers, each person eyeing the other with grins and distended mouths maxed out with a portion of their burger, as if they were challenging each other to see who could not just finish first, but just finish. I was asked recently about where to get a "real" deluxe hamburger by a veteran restaurateur, and I mentioned Uncle Bob's, as well as a few others, which include Jan Z's, Jeff's Pirates Cove, Chuck's Steak House, Pacific Grill, Bully's, Mermaid Tavern and Lone Star. I know there are more "burger" experiences just waiting to be had, and I'm sure we'll soon see some more entrants in Guam's Best Burger Challenge coming up in future issues.

Healthy Events At GMH and Synergy Studio & Cafe

Guam Memorial Hospital's Health Education Department is conducting a series of free classes to help residents who are trying to loose weight, quit smoking, deal with diabetes, heart disease, and coping with cancer. January's sessions will be held in the GMH cafeteria's conference room and all classes are from 10- 11am unless otherwise noted. The class line-up features the following topics:

Jan 10 - Clear the Smoke: "Tossing Tobacco"
Jan 12 - Putting Your Weight Away and Tips for Keeping It Gone
Jan 17 - Living with Lung Disease: "Tips for a Fuller Life"
Jan 18 - Diabetes Tender Love & Care: "Foods and Medicines That are Best" (9:30 - 11:30am)
Jan 19 - Determining Your Heart Disease Risk: "Know What's Headed Your Way"
Jan 24 - Living with Cancer: "Keeping Your Quality of Life"
Jan 25 - Diabetes Tender Love & Care: "You Can Avoid Complications Now" (9:30 - 11:30am)
Jan 26 - Decreasing Your Heart Disease Risk: "Get Out of The Way!"

Other classes are being scheduled for February. As classes are limited, you should call early to register at 647-2350/51.

Synergy Studio and Cafe is having free classes on January 15, as well as offering free samples of healthy cuisine. The free Yoga Class and a Taebo Class both start at 9:30am, and a Pilates Class, as well as a Hip Hop Class will start at 11am. In February, Synergy Studio will be offering Ballroom Dancing as well as Yoga for Kids. For more information, contact Synergy at 472-9642 or 472-4269, or visit them on the web at synergyguam.com. Synergy is located in Maite above PaintCo and next to Benson.

Around the Island - King's Ham Hocks, Movie House Grill, Yakitori, Curry Kebab

King's serves just about anything you'd want for breakfast, lunch or dinner, however, it's their daily lunch specials that you should "try to get while the getting's good" (which is until they run out!). I was fortunate the other day when I stopped by their Compadres Mall location and discovered they still had Ham Hocks with Mongo Beans ($6.75), which comes with rice (or fries or mashed potatoes) and garlic bread. I also ordered a garden salad to ease my conscience, and then got down to the elemental science of further spicing my beans and ham hocks with Tabasco, pepper, and finadene! I don't do this often, but the Southern part of my roots compels me to ring in the New Year with a bit of traditional Southern cuisine, and this qualifies as one of our regional delicacies. The beans (usually Black-eye peas) are said to bring good luck, so let's just affirm that the mongos will do the same! Other great lunch specials are the Light Wrap ($5.99), Turkey Croissant ($5.99), Beef Shank Soup ($6.75), Kadon Pika ($6.75), Lunch Kebab ($6.99), BBQ Short Ribs ($7.99), and BBQ Rib Lunch ($7.99). Hey, if you're Carb Conscious, you can even substitute your starch with a house salad for an extra $1.60.

We welcome the Movie House Grill in Agat to Guam's restaurant landscape. This eatery is already making waves, and has been getting positive feedback from customers who are finding out about MHG's Philadelphia Cheese Steak Sandwich and their burgers. This restaurant is in the Agat Point Commercial Complex across from the Inn at the Bay, and has a movie theme environment complete with posters and big screen entertainment, as well as an incentive program for free movie tickets. Call 565-4745 for info.

Yakitori Grill in the O.P. Arcade (behind Oka Pay-Less) is temporarily closed to give the owner (Hiro I.) a little vacation time. He should be open in the middle of January. Also, in the same complex, Josephine's Chamorro Restaurant will be closing on the 15th of January for a few months.

The Curry Kebab Indian Restaurant is growing in popularity, with many people discovering its enticing spiced entrees for the first time. Of over 500 restaurants on Guam, the Curry Kebab is definitely a distinctly different dining option. The Curry Kebab runs a daily lunch special (11am - 2:30pm) which offers diners a choice of Chicken, Fish, Beef or Shrimp as a main course that includes soup, salad, naan bread (or) tandoor roti, vegetable curry of the day, saffron rice, spicy chutney, pappadam, and fresh fruits for the amazingly low price of $8.99! Go to the Curry Kebab Indian Restaurant for Guam's best Indian cuisine. Call 649-4151 for take-out.

Pssssssst! Heads-up News Flash! Something BIG is coming to Hagatna! Stay tuned for more details! (Hint: BIG's got another name!!)

Hy's Steak House - When Two "CABs" Make Dining Fine

Hy's Steak House, located in the Holiday Inn Resort, was recently featured in the "Guam Food Guy's Top Picks for Appetizers, Entrees, and Desserts" (Directions Magazine, October 2004), and was listed there based on prior experiences. Although Hy's has gone through some adjustments and has endured what can fairly be called a tarnished reputation, my most recent excursion to Hy's this week was actually much better than I'd expected and had been further enhanced by the meeting of two "CABs". The two "CAB"s to which I'm referring are the "Certified Angus Beef" Steaks we ate and some excellent Cabernet Sauvignons by Beaucanon Estates that were recently introduced to Guam by Quality Distributors and are now available at Hy's.

The restaurant industry on Guam suffered the consequences of both acts of God and acts of men in the years since this millennium started, and any establishment that has managed to keep its doors open is to be commended. Sometimes, the service and quality standards can be affected by survival decisions. This is ragingly apparent in those establishments where the service expectation is highest. Hy's has been positioned in the upper echelon of fine dining for years. Although the menu mis-states that Hy's meat is air flown fresh from Canada, the reality is that they are using Certified Angus Beef, which from where I'm sitting, tastes as good as the best meat from any country.

Let's cut to the chase. Hy's Steak House is a fine dining establishment, where I received attentive service as well as ate a meal I could easily recommend. Take the Escargot a La Hy's ($9.95), which takes some culinary liberties to create a new product. Six sublimely seasoned escargot are immersed in a rich butter bath along with Mozzarella cheese that's melted to a stringy, silky softness, which when placed atop the rye bread slice, inspired me to call it "escargot fondue"! If you're squeamish about buttered snails, then you might consider Hy's Fresh Oysters on the Half Shell ($9.50), which were another appetizer I can recommend. The tangy cocktail sauce was laced with capers, which added a special touch. The Baked Oysters Rockefeller ($9.95) are a Hy's standard, and they are the "cooked" alternative to their raw brethren.

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Bon appetit!

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