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July 22, 2005, Volume 5 Number 29


Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

If you've been to Denny's in Tamuning over the last 20 years or so, then you'd probably recognize Rita Leon Guerrero Cruz's beaming face, and, if you were among the fortunate who've been served by Rita, you'd know what I mean when I talk about "good old-fashioned local hospitality"!

We went to Denny's the other night to satisfy our yearning for a simple taste of American food, and settled on a soup and sandwich solution. I had the BLT with a bowl of New England Clam Chowder and Zee opted for the Grilled Cheese Sandwich and a bowl of Chicken Noodle. We were handled by Rita, and as we chatted about life and people, it dawned on me that we needed to acknowledge Rita, who is a consummate server, whose decades of waitressing experience has molded her face into a permanent smile. When Rita's serving, you can relax and know you're in the hands of a competent, experienced, and empathetic confidant, a woman who always has something nice to say and who caters to you every time with her calming, self-assured style. She's a great lady who's as proud of her vocation as she is of her family, and with the Leon Guerrero's and Cruzes, you're talking about big families!

What's interesting about our quest for a taste Americana was the fact that the toasted bread that so impressed us was the thick Japanese Pullman bread made by American Bakery. Well, I guess it did have a little bit of "America" in it, if you consider where it was made! Another good thing about our Denny's dinner was that we received a 10% FX Nation Discount (for GuamCell users) off our entire bill. What that little extra savings on the meal meant for me was more that I could give our friend Rita, rewarding her for her sincerity, her great attitude, and for her gracious hospitality. If only every server could make us all feel so special! Thanks, Rita!

Ken, the Guam Food Guy

In Today's Issue:

  • GFG Hosts K57 "Tourism & You" Food Guy Segment, Saturday July 23, 10am
  • Bastille Day French Celebration at Guam Hotel Okura
  • Interesting Facts from Seafood.com - Basa vs. Catfish, Cell Phone Tracks Fish
  • La Brasserie's New Dinner Line-up - Genghis Khan BBQ and Teppanyaki Buffet
  • This Time Last Year - Highlights from GuamDiner Newsletter
  • Around the Island - Sam Choy's 50% Off Tuesday Night Special, Bistro's Crab Cakes Benedict, Chuck's Prime Rib Lunch Special
  • The Plaza's World Food Court - Small Eateries Offer Bargain Dining in Tumon

GFG Hosts K57 "Tourism & You" Food Guy Segment Saturday July 23, 10am

Listen up this Saturday morning for the Guam Food Guy's segment of K57's "Tourism & You" Show, from 10am-Noon. This week's guests will be Chef Eddie Chien, Chef de Cuisine of Roy's Restaurant, and Dongman Chang, owner and General Manager of the Flamingo Restaurant in Anigua. These interviews will offer unique and interesting insights into the people behind the scenes at the island's restaurants. This will be an opportunity for you to hear compelling stories about their professions and their passions, which are often synonymous in this industry for people of their caliber. Your phone calls are welcome.

Bastille Day French Celebration at Guam Hotel Okura

On July 16, the Sunflower Restaurant, at the Guam Hotel Okura was the setting for a sumptuous dining experience featuring a special menu of French cuisine prepared by Chef Katsuhiko Arai, in celebration of Bastille Day. The full course meal was paired with wines. Chef Arai masterfully presented his creations with classic French precision, with the use of sauces, colors, tastes, and textures.

The evening's menu included:

Duck Liver Pate with Cold Consomme
Roasted Crustacean Burgundy Style with Two Kinds of Sauce
Grilled Baby Lamb and Beef Tongue Stew with Truffle Sauce
White Asparagus Salad
Home Made Special Dessert

The wines paired with the courses included a vivacious Michel Krieger Brut Gran Cuvee Sparkling Wine, a Graves Blanc by Baron Philippe De Rothschild, and an aromatic Pauillac by Baron Philippe De Rothschild that was made with 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Melos, and 10% Cabernet Franc. We truly enjoyed this dinner, the splendid company, and the superb cuisine. Keep your eyes and ears open for the next wine dinner by Chef Arai...you don't want to miss this!

Interesting Facts from Seafood.com - Basa vs. Catfish, Cell Phone Tracks Fish

A recent taste test conducted by a researcher at Mississippi State University had found that basa, or Vietnamese catfish, was favored over farm raised U.S. catfish by a 3-1 margin. This information was countered with an immediate response by the Catfish Institute. According to Roger Barlow, president, "U.S. catfish sales were about 300 million pounds, compared to 9 million pounds for basa, and also that catfish was now the 4th most popular fish in the U.S., after shrimp, tuna, and salmon." Catfish has been around the U.S. for a long, long time, whereas basa is a relative newcomer, with many people who try it ending up preferring it over catfish in taste and texture.

"Everyone is aware of the fanatical devotion of young Japanese to their mobile phones. Now, with phones able to read a simplified bar code, restaurant diners and grocery shoppers can use their phones to get a traceability report on their individual fish in real time, right back to the vessel who caught it. In addition, the phones are being used as payment devices for rail tickets."

La Brasserie's New Dinner Line-up - Genghis Khan BBQ and Teppanyaki Buffet

Executive Chef Philip Duong has launched some exciting new dinner changes at the Holiday Resort Guam's La Brasserie. Now your Friday and Saturday night offerings will be a Mongolian Style Genghis Khan Barbeque, from 6-9:30pm ($18 plus 10% sc). Additionally, Chef Philip takes you to the delights of Japan with an All-You-Can-Eat Teppanyaki Buffet, every Sunday thru Thursday night, from 6-9:30pm, ($16 plus 10% sc). Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 647-7272.

This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter

July 23, 2004 , Vol 4 No 30

Restaurant Reviewed: Urijip Restaurant - Where Korean Dining Is A Family Tradition

Highlights: UnderWater World and Planet Hollywood Delight Visiting Family

Around the Island - Sam Choy's 50% Off Tuesday Night, Bistro's Crab Cakes Benedict, Chuck's Prime Rib Lunch Special

When money gets tight, it becomes harder to afford eating out at your favorite restaurants. Although a lot of restaurants offer some kind of discount that ranges between 5 - 20%, Sam Choy's has stepped up to the savings plate by offering a whopping 50% off any dinner entree on Tuesdays, provided you place your order before 6:30pm. That's a super gesture offered to local residents and the military, and should make family dining at this quality establishment an affordable luxury. We also want to take this opportunity to congratulate Sam Choy's Executive Chef, Peter Duenas, on his recent marriage! May you and your new bride enjoy a lifetime of love and exciting surprises!

OK, the word is officially out! The Crab Cakes Benedict at PIC's Bistro are absolutely awesome! If you, like me, love Eggs Benedict, which are sadly an island rarity, then you can eat the Bistro's special Benedict creation to your heart's content every weekday for lunch. This intriguing entree ($14.75) will fill you up. It's made with big Lump Crab Cakes that are topped by poached eggs atop toasted English Muffins. A delightful Pesto Hollandaise Sauce is ladled over this, and topped with what seemed like seasoned green tabiko. A sizeable Caesar salad is served on the plate in a sturdy red cabbage bowl. I don't think I've ever seen or had thicker or "crabbier" crab cakes. Chef Clayton's outdone himself! During our Bistro lunch we also saw the Tuna Wrap ($12.75), and the Prime Rib Panini ($13.25), both of which will challenge the heartiest of appetites.

Chuck's Steak House, in Upper Tumon, has daily lunch specials Mondays through Fridays, and we were lucky to have dined there on a Friday when they have their Prime Rib Lunch Special ($8.25). This is an incredible value, since the Prime Rib seems like a dinner sized portion, and is served with rice or fries, and mixed vegetables. You also get horseradish and au jus. We also ordered the Blue Cheese Burger ($8.50), which should be another contender in the "Burger Wars" competition we've been informally holding. No one has ever been disappointed in any of Chuck's family of burgers, and this was my first time adding blue cheese instead of one of the more traditional Cheddar, Swiss, American, or Jack cheeses. The blue cheese takes the sandwich up a notch closer to the realm of fine dining. It's good, real good eating!

The Plaza's World Food Court - Small Eateries Offer Bargain Dining in Tumon

Ever hear of the World Food Court? No, we're not talking about some official U.N. body or commission, we're talking about an obscure group of six fast food outlets that are hidden within the 2nd floor depths of The Plaza. This is the same complex that houses Hard Rock Cafe, the Outrigger, La France, and connects to Sam Choy's and Gameworks. Most people consider The Plaza to be a shopping destination. In reality, the Plaza is also home to the Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream kiosk and Tentekomai, which is a well-known specialty ramen shop. Tentekomai is located just at the entrance to the World Food Court, which has a lighted sign above the walkway leading into the court. If you didn't know where the World Food Court was located, you probably wouldn't find it. It really is not advertised on the exterior of the building, and there are not directory signs promoting the food court, its tenants, or the cuisine types served.

There are six restaurants inside the World Food Court, and just past the entrance of the corridor that takes you into the dining area, you'll see a directory window box that shows all six restaurants' menu offerings, along with a few food photos. The restaurants are Cafe Colombia (Vietnamese), Mao Mao Chinese Fast Food, Ariang BBQ Korean Restaurant, Boston Grill (American), Ten Ten and Tsuruya Cafe, both Japanese. Each eatery has a stall and there is a seating area (even a separate smoking section) for customers to sit down and watch TV while eating. Although we did not eat at all of the restaurants, we did order some popular items served at Tsuruya Cafe plus a house specialty from Boston Grill, which was the Boston Chicken with Special House Sauce ($5.50). For this review, we've included a little bit of menu information about each outlet so you can get a feel for the food selection available.

Food courts are ideal places for families and groups of people to eat since they offer diners a good selection of cuisine types. Although there are only six stalls, the food quality and pricing for what we ate was fairly decent for fast food. At Tsuruya Cafe we talked to the owner, Jennifer Tsurume, who generously shared information about her restaurant's menu specials and the uniqueness of her ingredients. Jennifer has been in business for five years and like the other stalls, it has light box displays showing menu items with their prices. The most popular items with the tourists were the Salisbury Steak and the Beef Steak ($11.99), which has a special sauce made by her husband. This steak is prepared "Japanese-style". Many customers of the food court are employees who work at the many retail shops, and since the food court is open from 8am-11pm, the outlets even serve breakfasts, that include such things as eggs, bacon, sausage, and pancakes. The local workers really enjoy some of the specialties at Tsuruya, like the Won Ton Ramen ($6.50), which we ordered, and the Fried Rice, another house favorite. Tsuruya's Fried Rice is made fresh and is served with an egg on top as well as five Chicken Tatsuta nuggets. The fried rice was made to order and had a lot of flavor (garlic was the most notable ingredient).

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Bon Appetit

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