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July 15, 2005, Volume 5 Number 28

Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

"One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating." Luciano Pavarotti

Although I have been eating all of my life, it wasn't until I became the Food Guy that I made eating an ardent exploration and a passionate avocation. A valuable service we provide at is in helping many people with decisions and advice on places to eat along with comments on the interesting foods available. While we may recommend establishments when a review is made, we are unable in some instances to assure that the positive conditions and impressions can be repeated. Succeeding in the restaurant business requires scrupulous attention to details, as well as hard, dedicated effort by the management and staff of an operation, with consistency of service and food quality as criteria for success.

This week's review of Flamingo Restaurant illustrates the essential elements involved in a restaurant's success. Despite having an obscure Anigua location, Flamingo Restaurant is a favorite place for affordable family dining with impressive food quality and variety that exceeds one's expectations. Read the review to see how and why this family-run enterprise has mastered the elements of success, and why people "relish" Flamingo's contemporary Japanese cuisine made with a local appeal.

And, may you and your family, friends, and co-workers enjoy an exciting Liberation Day Holiday and Parade on July 21 - Happy Liberation Day, Guam!

Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"

In Today's Issue:

  • Ooh La La! French Food Festival At Hyatt's La Mirenda - July 11 to 17
  • GCC Makes Bread At Pay-Less - Micronesia Mall, Saturday July 16
  • Mary's Vietnamese Rice Rolls - Only at Mary's & Only On Sundays
  • Bottle Crusher at Stanlee's Solves Space & Waste Problems for Hotels & Bars
  • This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter
  • "Let's Eat!" Dining Guide to Guam - FINAL DAY for Space Reservations!
  • Around the Island - Harry Potter at Bestseller, Artichokes at Manhattan Steakhouse, Curry Kebab
  • Flamingo Restaurant - Tasty Japanese Served With a Generation of Experience

Ooh La La! French Food Festival At Hyatt's La Mirenda - July 11 to 17

"I came. I ate. They conquered!" This bottom-lines my French cuisine buffet lunch extravaganza at the Hyatt Regency Guam's La Mirenda Restaurant, which is running a French Food Festival from now thru Sunday. In fact, the last two Lunch ($20) and Dinner ($35) buffets will be this Friday and Saturday, and Sunday will be a Brunch-only day ($33). The entire restaurant is decorated with a chic Parisian ambiance complete with Le Monde (French newspaper) placemats on your table. The food is marvelous and authentic, with a delectable line-up that includes sauteed frog legs, baby octopus, Fricasse de Crustacee (sauted shellfish), Poulet Basquaise (an exquisite chicken stew), Beer Braised Beef, a superb selection of fromage (cheeses), Mussel's Marinated in Lemon Mayonnaise, Ratatouille, and Salad Nicoise. It wouldn't be a true French food event without a fantastic assortment of pastries & desserts. You will find Crepes Suzettes, Gateau Basques, Creme Brulee au Fruit De La Passion, and Pont Neufs. The variety of tastes, textures, and flavors were undeniably French, and remarkable for a buffet service. The dinner service is enhanced by an even larger food selection along with French wines and champagnes. This is a special event you don't want to miss if you love French cuisine. Call 647-1234 for information and reservations.

GCC Makes Bread At Pay-Less - Micronesia Mall, Saturday July 16

The Guam Community College's Culinary Arts program will hold a bread-making demonstration at Pay-Less Supermarket's Micronesia Mall Store, in the Kitchen Area near the back, from 4 to 6pm on Saturday July 16. Both GCC instructors and students, as well as chefs from the Micronesia Chefs' Association, will be participating in this. The bread demonstration will focus on making breads without using yeast. Look for future food & cooking demonstrations at this Pay-Less kitchen facility. For more information, contact Barry Mead at 735-5629.

Mary's Vietnamese Rice Rolls - Only at Mary's & Only On Sundays

If you love Vietnamese food then you'll be delighted with what is considered to be a special and rare delicacy, Vietnamese Rice Rolls, which are Only available on Sundays at Mary's Vietnamese Restaurant on Route 16 in Harmon. It takes a great deal of effort to make these, since a special type of rice flour is needed as well as a particular type of Vietnamese sausage. The final creation is something you'll enjoy since these rolled up wonders are served warm, covered with mint leaves, fried garlic chips, bean sprouts, and a special dipping sauce to be poured over the rolls.

Mary To, chef/owner, used to make these at the Flea Market years ago and started making them at her restaurant every Sunday, with limited quantities available. Her regular customers call in for take-out, with some reserving two or three orders of this appetizer that sells for $7.50. For first time customers, I suggest you go to Mary's early (they open at 11am on Sundays) and eat your rolls there, ask Ann (Mary's daughter) for instructions on how best to eat these. There are enough in a single order for two to share if you order a second entree. Call 649-5523.

Bottle Crusher at Stanlee's Solves Space & Waste Problems for Hotels & Bars

Stanley Miller, proprietor of Stanlee's Liquor & Deli of Tumon, is on to something really big for Guam's urgent need to recycle waste products. He's brought in an electric, institutional bottle crusher that you'll have to see to believe. I dropped to take a look and was even able to demonstrate how this remarkable machine works. I picked up an empty Budweiser bottle and put it in the top of this sleek, modern stainless machine, and in a matter of seconds and with buffered grinding, the bottle was pulverized. I immediately thought about the hotels and bars, and how they could save a fortune in disposal and handling costs, not to mention reduce the safety concerns of handling thousands of empty bottles, particularly after large functions.

For consumers, Stanlee's is offering a nice incentive. For every empty wine bottle brought in for recycling, Stanlee's will give you $1 discount from the purchase price of a new bottle of wine. Stanley is to be commended for importing this machine to address a growing environmental concern. I urge hotel managers, along with bar and restaurant owners and managers, to go to Stanlee's to check out this amazing machine, and see how this unit may help you in managing the empty bottle problem that's been stacking up as well as save money! Call Stanlee's at 646-1328.

This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter

July 16, 2004 , Vol 4 No 29

Restaurant Reviewed: Sabai Dee Thai Restaurant - Superb Thai Classics Cooked with Passion

Boston Pizza's "U Take N Bake" at Harmon Cost-U-Less
Another Completely Non-Food Plug - Guam Needs to Add to
Salon Paradis - A Day Spa Where Beauty, Relaxation & Customer Service Count
Tony Roma's Agana Shopping Center Opening

"Let's Eat!" Dining Guide to Guam - FINAL DAY for Space Reservations!

The deadline has been set for ad placements in the upcoming publication, "Let's Eat! A Guide to Dining in Guam". You don't want to miss out on being featured in this comprehensive guide for diners living on or visiting Guam. The deadline is Friday July 15 so please call 635-7501 to reserve your space. You can click here for more information on this tasty opportunity.

Around the Island - Harry Potter at Bestseller, Artichokes at Manhattan Steakhouse, Curry Kebab

Heads up, foodies who are Harry Potter Fans! Bestseller Cafe at GPO will be offering Harry Potter Specials starting July 16 while supplies last. Among the items available are the Slytherin Frost, Gryffindor Latte, Apologies Potion Frost, Hufflepuff Soda, Harry Potter Cookie, and Ravenclaw Cremosa. For more information call Bestseller Cafe atl 647-7233.

Manhattan Steakhouse, in the Marriott Resort Guam, features an Artichoke promotion through July 31. Among the variety of lavish artichoke preparations, you can avail yourself of are Artichoke Cream Soup, Steamed Globe Artichoke Salad with Light Shallot Dressing, Risotto with Artichoke Hearts and White Truffle Oil, Crisp Fried Baby Artichoke Hearts in Aioli, and Steamed Globe Artichoke with Hollandaise. Manhattan is famous for their succulent prime beef and fresh seafood, as well as superb appetizers, salads, and desserts, all served in the comfortable, classy atmosphere that reflects the glamorous image of the dynamic metropolitan skyline of Manhattan.

Curry Kebab's Lunch Special is a real bargain for $8.99! You have a choice of chicken, fish beef, or shrimp as the main dish and it is served on a silver compartmentalized tray with Salad, Naan Bread or Tandoor Roti, the vegetable curry of the day, fresh fruit and saffron rice, along with a soup of the day. We had a rich and creamy celery soup during our visit, and I had a shrimp masala entree and my companion had a beef dish in a savory brown gravy. Lunch is served from 11am - 2:30pm, Monday - Friday. Call 649-4151 for reservations and take-out.

We had the opportunity to visit Chung Hae Korean BBQ again, this time for some new dishes we'd not tried during last week's review of this new Tumon eatery. We had the Pork Kalbi Lunch Special ($9.50, "Chamorro style" since it had sliced boonie peppers on the ribs). This entree comes along with assorted panchan, and the ribs are covered in a thick, semi-sweet gravy. The meat is quite tender since the ribs were steamed and double boiled. Another dish we tried was the Tofu Lunch Special ($9.50), which received it's "Chamorro" style designation in the form of sliced boonie peppers in the middle of cucumber slices ringing the plate. The sauted mixture included crisp green bell peppers, onions, and carrots, mushrooms, and lots of tofu. Owner Hyuon has received a lot of new customers from the review and wanted us to try one more of her specialties, the Deep Fried Eggplant ($8.50 for a full portion). These were served piping hot along with a sauce dish for dipping. Chung Hae Korean BBQ continues to impress and satisfy customers with their gracious hospitality and traditional Korean cuisine.

Flamingo Restaurant - Tasty Japanese Served With a Generation of Experience

Flamingo Restaurant, located in Anigua next to the vacant Community First Building, is a popular restaurant that has been satisfying the cravings of local customers for over a generation. This is one of those long-overdue reviews, since it involves a restaurant I've driven by over a hundred times. Before I became the food guy, I frequented Flamingo Restaurant for lunch when they were located in Harmon across from our office in the Paraoceana Building on Harmon Loop Road. I guess the timing was right for this review, since I have since developed a more experienced palate and appreciation for quality. If I told you that the majority of the food on Flamingo Restaurant's menu is fried, chances are you'd have a negative or, at best, neutral reaction. On the other hand, if I qualified this and told you that they use 100% soybean oil for frying, would that change your impression?

Flamingo Restaurant is owned by the Chang family (they also own Uri Jip Korean Restaurant) and is managed by Dongman "Dong" Chang, who keeps a watchful eye on his business while treating customers as though they were family and close friends. Dong has set quality standards and maintained them for several years now. The food, labeled "Contemporary Japanese" by Dong, is inexpensive and consistently good, with nearly every entree selling in the $8-$10 range. Menu items include Chopsteak, Chicken Tatsuta, Beef Tatsuta, Fried Shrimp, Tempura Shrimp, Chicken Cutlet, Yakitori, Fish Cutlet, Yakisoba, Chopsuey, and Onion Rings made with Panko. These are great onion rings that don't require napkins to absorb the oil and grease from frying. They are crunchy, crispy, greaseless, and delicious.

Flamingo has been in business for over two decades and it is a family-style casual eatery that doesn't try to impress you with appearances. At Flamingo, it's all about substance. It's about walking out of this place with a satisfied smile, knowing that you and your family got your money's worth and that you didn't leave hungry. With all the menu combinations that are possible at Flamingo, it is easy for everyone in a family to get their favorite items. Like it's namesake, Flamingo is decorated with statues and paintings of flamingos. While there are many interior enhancements that could be made, Flamingo's homey atmosphere appeals to people, disarming them so that they can relax, play, and eat.

One of the first things you get after being seated is a bowl of miso soup. We ordered two combination plates ($10 each), the #14 with Yakitori, Shrimps, Beef Tatsuta and Chop Steak, and the # 9 with Yakitori, Shishkabob, Chicken Cutlet, and Onion Rings. We also selected a Yakisoba Plate ($7.50) and an order of Shanghai Lumpia ($5.50). Flamingo's dinner menu is a joy to read, since it's all done with color photos that perfectly portray the food you order. The best thing about their combinations is that they assure even a single diner a variety of choices.

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Bon appetit!

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