June 17, 2005, Volume 5 Number 24
Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
Ever mis-file a memory? Well, I know I did, and from what I'd been hearing on the radio and on the street, so did a lot of other folks. I'm talking about the name of the original restaurant in the former Hakubotan Building, across from the Tamuning Post Office, which has just opened as the Seafood Chef. After researching through my "trivia stacks", I discovered the name: Amantes! Amantes served Steak and Lobster, as well as daily lunch specials for under $10. The new restaurant in that location, Seafood Chef, is a new concept offering a $9 lunch buffet (+10% sc) and a fresh seafood market dinner, where you can select your seafood. This is welcome news for those looking for seafood dining.
My searching for Amantes lead me down a memory path of other restaurants long gone and mostly forgotten. I gleaned an amazing list of those now out of sight from the April 1996 issue of Latte Magazine - another entity long gone and out of sight. Here goes the list of some of the ones that stood out:
American Cafe, several restaurants have been there since but it is now home to May's
Andok's Fast Food
Barney's Beach House, what long timer doesn't have a hazy memory of this place, Tahiti Rama or Wet Willies!?
Cool Spot, lots of good eats were enjoyed from this Mangilao eatery
Epicure, this place was always packed and closed when the fish export business closed
Furusato, the original Japanese Izakaya and still one that hasn't been equaled
Ivory Gourmet Cusine, this great place was helmed by Eddie Chien who is now chef de cuisine at Roy's. Ivory burned the night of the Korean air crash and the loss was little noted in the aftermath of the crash - thank goodness Eddie is still with us and cooking and the space is now occupied by Le Tasi Bistro
J&K Hong Kong Restaurant
Kurumaya and Seahorse with their fabulous location right there on the water
La Creperie, again we're fortunate because Ronnie Calvo-Perez has moved on to Firefly Bistro and you can still get a great crepe there
Latino's Italian, how can we forget the many meals at this little place?
Papa John's, the best we've ever had for Greek, Lebanese and Turkish food cooked with real heart - I'll never forget her spanokopita, moussaka or baklava
Pim's Place whose cook, Toy McGurk, now owns her own place, Thai Kitchen, and it is one of the best Thai places on island
Shanghai, still the best Spicy Chicken with Peanuts
Taipei Kitchenette, this name brings back thoughts of Shredded Beef with Dried Tofu and Hot Peppers - so very good
and the steakhouse that was orginally M's and became Tom's Table
The list in Latte Magazine featured 87 eateries that are no longer with us. Good memories and a testament to the constant change in the restaurant scene on Guam. If you'd like to see the complete list of 87, email email@example.com and we'll send it to you.
There are no doubt many of you who can remember dining at some of these. Though I wasn't the food guy then, I was involved in marketing hospitality experiences to visitors and thus I am familiar with most of these. Athough the eateries listed above are gone, they've been replaced by other establishments. The sad reality is that we have too many restaurants competing for what has been a diminishing consumer market. Today's tourists and local residents are spending less when dining out, and restaurants are hard-pressed to find creative solutions to attracting and retaining customers. The good news is that diners ultimately benefit from this process because we end up enjoying a profusion of new menu creations and culinary options. Today's review of the Outrigger's Mexican Fiesta Buffet exemplifies this trend, as do the new offerings at Holiday Resort. For island residents, the future of dining choices looks brighter than ever. My advice: Let's Eat!
Ken, "The Guam Food Guy"
In Today's Issue:
- "Laughter is the Best Medicine" Comedy Evening for "Lend A Heart" Campaign
- House of Brutus - Late Night with Patrick Palomo and Guest Dave Duenas
- 7th Annual Fisherman's Festival "Gupot Y Peskadot" Saturday June 18
- Free SPAM Slicer Promo Takes the Prize!
- This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter
- "Let's Eat!" Dining Guide to Guam - Now Taking Space Reservations
- Around the Island - La Brasserie Lunches, Sam Choy's Celebrates, Mongolian BBQ
- Palm Cafe Mexican Fiesta Buffet - Big Taste of OLE! Passes Flavor Test
"Laughter is the Best Medicine" Comedy Evening for "Lend A Heart" Campaign
Avid radio listeners already know that popular "On the Go" reporter Ed Davis is suffering from a serious heart ailment which requires surgery in a mainland hospital. Co-workers from K57, Sorenson Pacific and friends have banded together to create "Lend a Heart" to raise funds to help defray medical costs for Ed.
"Lend a Heart" plans an evening of sidesplitting comedy on Friday June 17 at 6pm in the Marianas Ballroom of the Hilton Guam. Billed as "Laughter is the Best Medicine", no doubt the most entertaining part of the evening will be the planned roasting of K57 Morning Show radio personality and MC extraordinaire, Ray Gibson. Talented funny man Frank Rios will loosen up the crowd. The roast of Ray Gibson that follows will feature K57's Travis Coffman, Tony Lamorena, Dave Silva, and former Governor, Carl T.C. Gutierrez, who has a keen sense of humor. I wouldn't want to be the cross hairs of these guys! It promises to be great fun, and all for truly good guy who needs our help.
Tickets are going fast! Admission costs $25, with heavy pupus being served along with a no-host bar. Raffle tickets will be available for purchase with great prizes. Tickets can be purchased at Mahie's Orchids on Guam or you can call Patti Arroyo at 888-4728 or 477-5700 x 251. Make checks payable to "Lend a Heart" - Ed Davis Fund. Even if you are unable to attend, you can still donate, so please show your support for our good friend Ed!
House of Brutus - Late Night with Patrick Palomo and Guest Dave Duenas
The ultra cool House of Brutus features great jazz every Friday night when Patrick Palomo takes over the house in his weekly "The Late Show with Patrick Palomo". This week promises a real treat with visiting guest artist, Dave Duenas, joining Patrick. Dave is a classical guitarist and his normal gig is with the San Francisco Guitar Quartet - if you're a music lover, you don't want to miss this performance by two of Guam's most talented musicians. The House of Brutus is located on the first floor of the ITC Building. The first set starts at 9pm and they will be playing until midnight. Call 647-0315 for more information.
7th Annual Fisherman's Festival "Gupot Y Peskadot" Saturday June 18
Don't miss this Saturday's "Gupot Y Peskadot" at the Fisherman's Co-op in Hagatna. This is the best opportunity to avail yourself of free sampling of excellent seafood preparations, which is something you simply won't understand unless you go. Last year we had marlin burgers, fried tuna and marlin, smoked marlin salad spread, kelaguens, poke, and fish kebabs. This event is a fun and educational experience the entire family will enjoy. Kids can paint fish, play games, and explore the sea with various activities. There will be displays from the Western Regional Fishery Management Council, the Department of Aquatics and Wildlife, the Coral Reef Marine Center, and others. You will be able to obtain literature and posters of sea life. The public is invited to this free event which starts at 9am and lasts until 4pm. This event precedes that 10th Annual Guam Marianas International Fishing Derby next weekend, June 25 and 26.
Free SPAM Slicer Promo Takes the Prize!
I simply couldn't resist writing about this. In today's PDN, there was a K-Mart advertising insert that featured a "Free Spam Slicer" offer, wherein if you purchased six cans of Spam, you would receive a Free Spam Slicer. This Slicer (available between June 16-19, or while supplies last) resembles an egg slicer, only there's no indentation for the egg. It's an ingenious invention! This is the first time I've ever seen one of these and am frankly surprised that it's never been promoted or offered before! Especially since Guam hold's the world's record for per capita Spam consumption. This should be a standard kitchen tool in every Guam household!
This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter
June 18, 2004 , Vol 4 No 25
Restaurant Reviewed: SandCastle's "Icy" Dinner Show- Quality Dining & Spectacular Entertainment
Highlights: Great SPAM Cook-Off Island Style IV
"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 - La Brasserie Lunches, Sam Choy's Celebrates, Mongolian BBQ
The Holiday Resort Guam has just launched two new lunch buffets this week that already have taste buds a buzzin' with positive reviews. Chef Phillip Duong, formerly Executive Chef of the Palace Hotel and long-time Guam resident, offers two different buffets during the week. Mondays to Wednesday he takes diners on a special Asian culinary tour and Thursdays to Saturdays he treats diners to one of the hottest culinary trends around, Euro-Chinese. We look forward to once again enjoying Chef Phillip's creative and flavorful culinary renderings.
Sam Choy's Guam is celebrating its 6th Anniversary and has a special you don't want to miss. Every Tuesday for the month of June, you will be able to get 50% off any entree between 6-6:30pm when you use your Sam & Sammy Elite Discount Card. You can apply for and receive your Sam & Sammy Elite discount card instantly while there. Your early dining experience is made even more special because you can enjoy the soothing island sounds of one of Guam's favorite duos, Jesse & Ruby!
Mongolian BBQ is now available in Tumon on Thursday nights, at the Ohana Beach Club at the Outrigger Guam Resort, from 6-10pm. You can pick your favorite fresh vegetables and select from a variety of meats, including chicken, pork, beef, and seafood. Noodles are also available for the taking and you can douse these with assorted dipping sauces and oils to suit your taste. The Outrigger's chefs will then grill your food to a flavorful perfection. The price is only $1.25 per ounce (+10% sc), and includes dessert and iced tea.
Palm Cafe Mexican Fiesta Buffet - Big Taste of OLE! Passes Flavor Test
Somebody at the Outrigger Guam Resort listened and got it right. That's the thought I had when I'd first heard about the Mexican Fiesta Buffet at the Outrigger's Palm Cafe. Yes, they listened, all right and what did they listen to, you might ask? It was at a Cinco de Mayo fundraising event for KPRG hosted by the Guam Women's Club where we got our first taste of what the chefs at the Outrigger could do. Guests were joyously eating carne asada, making tacos, and dipping chips in flavorful salsas, and they unanimously agreed that this was some pretty good Mexican food, with some even suggesting that Outrigger should make a regular thing of this apparent proficiency with one of the Western world's most popular cuisines. They listened, and got it right - Big Time!
The Mexican Fiesta Buffet is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 11am-2pm and is priced at $10.95 per person (+10 % sc), and includes desserts and China Mist iced tea. The entire buffet area is decorated with colorful paper Mexican dolls, sombreros, and happy characters, really adding a festive air. However, just as you are standing at the entrance of the buffet area you will suddenly become aware of the glorious aromas of Mexican food! For lovers of Mexican cuisine, this is a good start and for "buffet food", it's absolutely marvelous.
You can start anywhere with this buffet, either at the cold salad section which holds a variety of vegetable, pasta, and salad options, or with hot tortilla chips and salsa, or with one (or both) of two soups. I was told that the entrees and ingredients comprising the buffet may change, so there may be other items than what I ate for this review. The soups I tried were a Chicken & Corn Tortilla Soup and a thick and hearty Chili Soup. Both were outstanding, though I think locals will go crazy over this Chicken & Corn Tortilla Soup since it is a Mexican take-off on the traditional Corn Chowder that's a standard in local cuisine. It is thick, full of tender chicken, and has corn kernels in every bite. Red beans are scattered through out, with the tortilla pieces fairly dissolved into the stock. This soup could have been the meal in itself.
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