April 8, 2005, Volume 5 Number 14
Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
Words fail to convey the tremendous sense of loss that has been felt by the family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances of Roland Anthony Boudreau, who died in an unfortunate accident last weekend. His passing has been a cloud on my mind and has tinged my feelings, affecting me in new ways each day as I personally attempt to reconcile what seems so inconceivable that my dear friend, colleague, buddy, and teacher, Roland, will no longer be a prominent player on this stage called Life.
I've known Roland from the time when he was the General Manager of Hy's Steak House, and remember the excellent impression he made on me, as well as others who were his customers. For those close to Roland, they would all agree that he knew how to take care of people, and his gracious, hospitable, knowledgeable, and affable manner made him a darling in local food and beverage circles. Roland's trademarks were his dignity, integrity, polish, and class, and whenever Roland was involved in any activity or meeting, his personal style and unique sensitivities would impart an elevating charm and distinction to the gathering.
He was fun to be with, and could entertain to the point of spoiling you...his laughter was irresistibly contagious, and his face would light up and eyes would gleam with a genuine joviality. He knew how to have and share a good time. Roland maintained and demonstrated impeccable standards, was a man with a purpose and mission in life, and who was deeply committed to his family and loved ones, especially to the love of his life, Casey, and to the gift from God with whom he was blessed, his son, Joshua. Today, and for always, we praise and celebrate the life of Roland, son of Claude and MaryLou Boudreau, for the distinguished and gentle man he was, and for the countless happy memories he's given all of us. It was a distinct honor and pleasure to be one of his friends. (Photo: Casey Troung Boudreau, Ken Stewart, Roland Boudreau. New Year's Eve '04)
Here's to you, Roland, as I lift this glass of Opus as a toast to your memory and to your convivial style - you are certainly one of a kind, wearing shoes that only you can fill!
Au revoir, mon frere!
Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"
In Today's Newsletter:
- PHARE 20005, April 14, 15, & 16 Hyatt Regency Guam
- Asparagus Extravaganza at Manhattan Steakhouse, Now thru May 31
- GFG Top Picks In March 2005 Directions
- This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter
- Dining Down Under, An Australian Food Festival at La Mirenda, April 11-17
- "Let's Eat!" Dining Guide to Guam - Now Taking Space Reservations
- Around the Island - Lone Star, Curry Kebab, Le Tasi Bistro, Sabai Dee Thai,
Restaurant Closings & Openings
- La Mirenda Sunday Brunch - Extraordinary Dining in Paradise
PHARE 20005, April 14, 15, & 16 Hyatt Regency Guam
The upcoming Pacific Hotel & Restaurant Expo and Travel Trade Show is a must-attend event for those in the hospitality industry. It is an excellent opportunity to see new products, equipment, and to learn about new services as well as to find solutions through educational seminars. The event will have a Professional Culinary Competition sponsored by Quality Distributors, Yamasa Soy Sauce and Matson Navigation. There will be a Bartending Competition at Planet Hollywood, as well as a Student Culinary Competition sponsored by Triple J Five Star Wholesale Foods. The Exhibition is open to Trade Professionals only on Thursday and Friday, and opens to the general public on Saturday, April 16. The student culinary competition is on Saturday.
Asparagus Extravaganza at Manhattan Steakhouse, Now thru May 31
Attention Health Enthusiasts, Nutritionally-Minded People, and Anyone who loves great food! Asparagus is here and in abundance, as well as prepared in a variety of ways, at the Marriott's Manhattan Steakhouse. Did you know that asparagus is among the most nutritionally well-balanced vegetables available, and is the leading supplier among all vegetables for folic acid? It is high in fiber, low in calories, has no cholesterol, no fat, is low in sodium and if filled with potassium, vitamin B6, vitamins A&C, thiamin, and is a rich source of rutin, a drug that strengthens capillary walls. So, now you have the best justification for making multiple visits to the Manhattan Steakhouse for their Asparagus Extravaganza Promotion that runs until May 31.
They have a special menu for this promotion that allows diners to order appetizers as well as main entree dishes featuring asparagus prepared in several delicious versions. I tried the Cream of Asparagus Soup ($7.50), which is served in a deep-fried bread bowl. The soup was a marvelously rich-tasting and creamy creation, filled with chunks of asparagus, with a broth born from blended asparagus, giving the savory soup a slightly fibrous texture.
I also ordered the appetizer portion of the Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce ($14 appetizer/$19 main). This was a true gourmet's delight, as the steamed white and green asparagus stalks are chilled and served with what has to be one of the best and freshest Hollandaise sauces I can remember eating! The sauce is cradled in a carved-out orange formed as a basket. The white asparagus is made by a process called etiolation, which deprives the asparagus from sunlight, so it cannot produce the chlorophyll that colors green asparagus. White asparagus has a milder taste and is more delicate than the heartier green version, and is preferred in Europe.
The final dish was my overall favorite, the Asparagus with Charbroiled Scallops ($17 appetizer/$24 main). The asparagus and scallops are sauteed in a mouth-watering garlic butter sauce that delivers an awesome flavor and texture combination. These scallops are big, meaty, succulent and seasoned just right. This dish will be repeated often. Other combinations are Asparagus Salad, Asparagus a la Grecque with Proscuitto, Asparagus Milanese, Asparagus Gratin with Brie Cheese, and Asparagus with Baked Virginia Ham and Pommery Mustard Cream. Enjoy!! Call 646-1610 for dinner reservations.
GFG Top Picks In March 2005 Directions
Coming soon to your mailboxes and newsstands is the must-have March 2005 edition of Directions Magazine. This special edition is graced by prominent local businessman, George Lai, of Quality Distributors, who was recently honored as the SBA's Small Business Person of the Year. This edition also features a supplement on Lone Star Steak House's 10th Year Anniversary, which provides a valuable insight into the talented people who maintain the "star" in this great Tamuning eatery that's locally-owned! Other articles covered are Identity Theft, Finance, the Auto Aftermarket, and Small Business Retirement. This particular issue also includes a completely new artist's rendering of the Guam Food Guy who has penned his annual Top Picks for Breaking Business Bread. Get your copy now!!
This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter
April 9, 2004 , Vol 4 No. 15
Restaurant Reviewed: Pacific Grill Guam Gets New Owners - Really Good Eats & A Super-Size Burger!
Highlights: Palm Cafe at Outrigger
Events: 6th Annual Rotary Club of Guam Sunrise 5K Fun Run/Walk, April 10
Dining Down Under, An Australian Food Festival at La Mirenda, April 11-17
Get your taste buds ready for a special treat as the Hyatt Regency's La Mirenda hosts two visiting Australian celebrity chefs who will be preparing amazing culinary fare in the tradition known as Pacific Rim cuisine. Fresh seafood, meats, and special herbs will be used to deliver both contemporary and traditional dishes. Come on down and meet Chef Vic Cherikoff and Chef Benjamin Christie of the famed "Dining Down Under" Cooking Show. Australian beers, wine, and other beverages will also be featured. Lunch is $20 and dinner is $34, with a 10% service charge added. See ya there, mates!
"Let's Eat!" Dining Guide to Guam - Now Taking Space Reservations
If you are interested in placing an ad in the upcoming publication, "Let's Eat! A Guide to Dining in Guam", you can access details on the ad placements, sizes available, and their prices from the rotating large banner at GuamDiner.com or from the permanent banner on the lower right. If you are in a hurry, just click here. This is really exciting stuff, since we've been in need of a comprehensive guide for a long time. So, if you have a business you'd like to prominently promote in this divinely delicious publication, please call 635-7501 for more information on this tasty opportunity.
Around the Island - Lone Star, Curry Kebab, Le Tasi Bistro, Sabai Dee Thai, Restaurant Closings & Openings
I had to have a steak and there I was at Lone Star Steakhouse on a recent weeknight...I skipped the appetizer and went straight for the T-Bone, a 20 oz. dream come true that was surely 2 steaks in one. I did eat my Ceasar salad and munched down Lone Star's famously dangerously delicious hot buttered melt-in-your-mouth rolls (so much for avoiding carbs, but I did order steamed veggies instead of starch, so I'm a little better off!). When my steak arrived, I hurriedly took a photo or two, and then jumped into that gorgeous, lightly seasoned steak, which I'd ordered medium and it was picture, pink-centered, grill-marked perfect. The meat was absolutely delicious...with a nice grain, good marbling, and an awesome succulence that you get from a high quality steak! The wait staff and management of Lone Star asked if I planned on framing the bone since it looked like a piece of ivory when I was through.Lone Star's staff then set the house a rockin' with a little Texas two-step line dancing which everyone enjoys watching. One interesting non-food thing about Lone Star is the sinks in the lavatories. These are out-of-the-well bowls that sit atop the counter. These are certainly unique and fun to use.
I stopped in to The Curry Kebab the other night and ordered the Tofu Bajji (Marinated Tofu Fritters $6.95). They were a nice, vegetarian start to the meal. I also had fresh-squeezed grape juice, which was cool and refreshing. For the main course I had the Shrimp Masala ($12.95) , which has both shrimp and eggplant cooked in a tomato sauce with herbs and spices. I was served a small bowl of Raitha to accompany my Garlic Naan Bread. I can never tire of the variety of spices used in Indian cuisine. I can not help but recommend the Curry Kebab as Guam's taste of India.
Be sure to include Le Tasi Bistro in your small circle of favorite places to eat...you won't be disappointed! I recently ventured a few items on their new menu and can emphatically recommend the Bruschetta con Tomate e Basilica (Toast topped with Roasted Garlic, Tomato and Basil $5.50). My first bite of this spledid appetizer launched me on a magic carpet ride to the Mediterranean. The fresh tomatoes were naturally sweet and sliced into thin strips along with fresh basil and blended with a little olive oil, with the mix poured over small pieces of toasted baguette. This is a classic flavor combination made with simple ingredients. The other appetizer I had was the Galette de Meaux (Puff Pastry Tartlet topped with Tomato and melted Brie $6.50). This was good, even great if you love brie. I preferred the Bruschetta. The main entree I had was the Coquelet auz Epices Orientales (Char-broiled Cornish Hen, marinated with Far East spices and served with Steamed Rice and a Marinated Vegetable Salad). I opted for the Au Gratin Potatoes instead of rice. The vegetables were steamed green beans and broccoli, and the cornish hen had been barbecued and covered with a sauce I couldn't easily identify. I kept thinking it was a variation of sweet chili sauce. Obviously it was one of Chef Bertrand's "creations exotique"! This is a unique place where you can escape to a romantic candlelit table, enjoy a bottle of wine, warm French bread with basil, a sumptuous meal, and listen to the Gypsy Kings. Le Tasi Bistro's home-style European cooking makes it a culinary treasure, so I really encourage you to join them for either lunch or dinner.
I was enjoying some comfort food items at Sabai Dee Thai Restaurant, namely Fried Gizzards ($6), Chicken Wings ($6), and a combination Pad Thai ($8.50), when I received the call from Katie Worth at the PDN who wanted me to make a few comments about my friend Roland Boudreau's recent passing. I answered straight from the heart, and then went back to my food and the great company I was keeping that night when I needed support. Thanks to Bill & Dee Nielsen from Harley Davidson Guam, Ken Duenas of Triple J, Stan & Terumi Wilson, and Sabai Dee's partners Tim Palacios and Ponna.
We are sorry to officially inform you that two restanurants have closed, one of which, the Pacific Chinese Restaurant (across from PIC on the 3rd Fl) was open for barely a month or two and which I reviewed two weeks ago. The second closure is the Yakitori Grill in the Oka Annex in Tamuning. This was my favorite Yakitori spot on Guam...now I'll have to go search elsewhere until Hiro-san returns from Japan to open up shop again! A new restaurant has just opened this week in Tumon's Blue Lagoon Plaza, and is called Japanese Restaurant Kai. It is located in the former spot that Samurai Washin occupied, just between Aji Ichi and Sushi Tairyo. Kai will become a popular sake, wine and shochu destination, and offers the incredibly tasty Japanese foods prepared by Chef Kanda (from Utage and Aji Hey). Can't wait to go there and try it!
La Mirenda Sunday Brunch - Extraordinary Dining in Paradise
The Sunday Brunch at La Mirenda in the Hyatt Regency Guam is a culinary quandary - it has everything you want and more than you can eat! I was delighted to be joined for this review by my good friend, Toshie Ito (Motiva), who offered me immeasurable comfort and splendid companionship during what was a rather difficult day for me personally. La Mirenda's physical layout makes it one of the more attractive dining spots on Guam, and when you are seated facing the window view of the hotel's marvelously landscaped waterpark and the bay beyond, one can see and feel the magic of "extraordinary dining in Paradise".
Although I've not been to La Mirenda's Sunday Brunch in a long time, I noted that there was a certain something about the food's presentation and menu composition that was far above the norm. I can say that this can be due in part to the personal touch of Chef de Cuisine Tomasso Fois, formerly of Sereno's and the Outrigger. The other part contributing to what can only be described as a glorious festival of foods is the Hyatt's F&B team's commitment to putting out a first-rate spread, which is what stole my breath away upon arriving. An abundance of Seafood, cooked and raw, Prime Rib, Roast Turkey, a huge have-it-your-way Pasta Station with over a dozen ingredients, Spicy Thai Soup, Cereal, an Omelette Station, a Bread Station, Lox and Bagels, hot chafing dishes with an array of intriguing foods, a selection of fine Cheeses, a Crepe Station, and a walk-around Dessert display that deserves a separate review on its own were among the culinary elements awaiting at La Mirenda.
Where one begins with this type of feast is a matter of personal preference. Toshie ordered a ginger ale and I had my first of several glasses of free-flowing champagne, and then we began our journey. She started out with the crepe station...may as well start out with a bang! I was happy to see Christina Siskin, who had come through the GCC Culinary Academy, at the Crepe Station...I was so proud of her...the future chef-to-be!!! I headed over to the Seafood display and loaded up on Snow Crab, Boiled Shrimp, Sashimi, Marinated Mussels, and Oysters. I made up my wasabi and shoyu, added a dash of cocktail sauce, and I was on my way. I put that plate down and headed back to get some of that tasty Spicy Thai Soup and a plate of a glorious triumvirate; Eggs Benedict, Vegetable Frittata, and Salmon Frittata (Tomasso's touch). The crab piece I picked has a mouthful of fresh, white tasty crabmeat..it was divine. During the course of our entire meal, we were entertained by our friends Mario and Jim, whose musical talents and repertoire of songs had the audience singing along or breaking out in applause..that was a really special touch for Sunday brunch - Bravo!
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