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August 5, 2005, Volume 5 Number 31


Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

Another Chinese restaurant has just opened for business! Yes, it's called 168 Chinese Restaurant, and is located in Maite, next to Yong Choi Market near the GovGuam Credit Union. "Don't we have enough Chinese restaurants?", you might ask. Apparently not. After all, this new entry brings the total number of Chinese restaurants to 47, which is still behind our total number of Japanese restaurants, of which there are 55. Since we are counting, let's not forget the Vietnamese (27), nor the Korean (37), nor the Filipino (34), or the Thai (9). These totals are compiled from the GuamDiner.com directory, which categorizes restaurants according to cuisine type and restaurant format. The number of restaurants that offer Chamorro and local food totals 20, though there are only a handful that exclusively serve Chamorro food. For American food, we list 91 outlets, which includes all the Fast Food franchise restaurants as well as convenience stores such as 7-11.

If we're going to talk about American food, you'd definitely include the noble hot dog and the hamburger among the top food items for which our country boasts bragging rights. Though both were originally imported from Europe, these items are now distinctly American and are known around the world as "American food". This week's review of Champ's Hot Dogs will take you on an exciting excursion to a unique destination that is both an historical island landmark (with a shopping emporium filled with curios & handicrafts) and a mind-engaging "theme" restaurant that serves huge hamburgers, thick milk shakes, and awesome hot dogs so good that you'll just have to go back for more!

Ken, "The Guam Food Guy"

In Today's Issue:

  • Marty's Mexican Merienda's Grand Opening - August 5
  • Seafood From the Fishermen's Co-Op - Bringing You the Bounty of the Sea
  • Seafood Recipes on GuamDiner.com - Enjoying the Bounty of the Sea
  • Mulligan Restaurant & Bar Re-Opens
  • This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter
  • Around the Island - May's, Curry Kebab Dinner Special, Islander Terrace Launches Mexican Lunch Buffet
  • Champ's Hot Dogs and More - Bodacious Dining in an Historical Landmark

Marty's Mexican Merienda's Grand Opening - August 5

"Tumon's got the bird"! There's a giant multi-hued bird atop Marty's new Tumon home along Fujita Road. Actually this bird (which seems to be nothing so much as an inflated parrot) is there to announce the Grand Opening of Marty's Mexican Merienda and Cantina, which officially happens on Friday, August 5. Marty's made the move to Tumon in a two week period - an incredible feat! They have been operating for the past week or so. I stopped in the other night and it was jam-packed with people. Marty's will certainly draw a lot of business to this otherwise quiet location. I'm sure this will bode well for Chung Hae Korean BBQ, which is next door in the same complex. Marty's will be open for lunch and dinner starting the 5th. We applaud Phil Martineau and his management team for taking their popular hotspot to this new location, which should certainly bump Tumon's nocturnal activity up a notch!

Seafood From the Fishermen's Co-Op - Bringing You the Bounty of the Sea

If you are looking for a variety of fresh seafood to take home, you should consider going to the Guam Fishermen's Co-Op fish market in Hagatna, near the boat basin. Depending on what the local fishermen catching, the Co-Op's display cases feature popular reef fish like Tataga (parrot fish), Tuatara (unicorn), Guano (surgeon), Grouper, Octopus, and Rainbow Runner. Among pelagic fish (which are caught by trolling), you may be able to get Mahi Mahi, Wahoo, Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, Bonita, White Tuna and Barracuda. Sometimes, fish from the deep bottom are caught and brought in. These include Onaga (red snapper), Ehu (ruby snapper), Opakapaka (pink snapper) , Monchong (pomfret), and Lehi (silvermouth snapper). If you are looking for convenience, be sure to try one of the pre-packaged seafood dishes the Co-Op prepares. The Salmon Kelaguen is really good, as are the Marlin and Octopus kelaguens. There's even a specially made Wasabi Sauce in a jar you can buy. The staff at the Co-Op are very professional and the fish are properly handled in accordance with HACCP guidelines which monitor the fish temperatures until they are sold to the consumers. I think more people should really make the trip down to Hagatna to visit this fascinating doorway to the sea. For more information, call 472-6323.

Seafood Recipes on GuamDiner.com - Enjoying the Bounty of the Sea

You probably didn't know that there are more than 104 great seafood recipes on the Guamdiner website. You can get the recipe for Fresh Ahi and Marlin Ceviche from PIC Bistro chef de cuisine Clayton Babas; Grilled Fish with Cilantro Chutney in Banana Leaf from Kotwal Singh, executive chef at Hard Rock Cafe; Jumbo Pika Prawns which are a famous creation of Sam Choy's executive chef Peter Duenas; Jan Z's manager Bill Bradford's famous Maryland Crab Cakes; Island Citrus Shish-Ka-Bobs, a tasty and healthy recipe from Pepe Laflamme of Nu Form Fitness and Fish Burgers and Poki from Guam Fishermen's Co-op. These are just some of the hundreds of locally-contributed recipes that are in the GuamDiner.com recipe section. So the next time you are thinking about a special way of preparing your fish, try out one of these great recipes. Trivia Tidbit - most of our website traffic comes from Guam, the Pacific and Japan but our recipe area draws repeat visitors from around the world. A quick check just today reveals visitors from Finland, France, Belguim and the United Kingdom in the past few hours - all of them looking at recipes.

Mulligan Restaurant & Bar Re-Opens

This past week marked the re-opening of the old Mulligan's Cafe to the new Mulligan Restaurant & Bar. Mulligan's, located in the Tumon Golf Driving Range, had transitioned from Nilo & Clint's (a late-dinner and cigar lounge concept that didn't pan out), and is now back on track with the special lunch entrees for which chef/owner Nilo Vega is known. The $8.95 weekday lunch entrees include Fried Tilapia, Mahi Mahi or Salmon Dore, Cajun Seafood Fried Rice, Fried Pork Chops, Pork Cutlet, Chicken Cutlet, Fried Chicken, Chamorro Chop Steak, Teriyaki Chicken, Pork Ginger, Hamburger Steak and Beef Tapa. These include a choice of starch, salad bar and fresh brewed iced tea. You can also order sandwiches for lunch. For $9.95, you can get one of the House Specialties, which are Crispy Pata, Shrimp/Chicken/or Beef Curry over Rice, Bento Box, Garlic Shrimp Fettuccine, and Beef Tips Fettucine with Mushroom Sauce. Lunch is served from 11am-2pm, and an all-day menu is available from 2-10pm. Mulligan's is fun for the whole family..they even have a Kid's meal for $4.99 (Spaghetti, Hot Dog, or Grilled Cheese). The dinner menu offers a wide array of local, continental, and Asian favorites, including noodle soups. For more information, call 646-8342.

This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter

July 30, 2004 , Vol 4 No 32

Restaurant Reviewed: Carmen's Cha Cha Cha - Where Good Only Gets Better

Highlights:
Bestseller Cafe's New Menu Items
Featured Recipe: Garlic Soy Sauce Chicken Drumettes by Shelly Gibson

This simple but tasty recipe by our good friend Shelly caught my attention. Shelly's endearing personality comes through in her recipe directions (she ought to do a cookbook)...you can't help but develop a fond familial attachment with Shelly...she's a good mom and daughter of a great mom.

Around the Island - May's, Curry Kebab Dinner Special, Islander Terrace Launches Mexican Lunch Buffet

May's Chinese Restaurant has a lot of excellent and affordable food, however, when it comes to seafood, her steamed Lapu-Lapu with Ginger & Green Onion is something you don't want to miss. May's also has Steamed Crab with Black Bean Sauce that is equally delicious. If you'd like seafood for dinner, ask your server what fish they are featuring. If you are having lunch and don't want any of the posted specials, try some of May's Dim Sum...it's also worth having. One of my favorites at May's is the Won Ton Soup...May makes up her favor-laden wontons by hand and they are among the tastiest on island.

The Curry Kebab has started offering Set Menu Dinner Specials. We recently had one that featured Fried Jumbo Prawns, Beef or Chicken Curry, Saffron Rice Salad, Pappad, and Chutney for $14.95. The presentation of the plate was quite dramatic, with the Prawns making a "teepee" on their intertwined skewer. Another dish we tried was a Fish Hariyali that had fresh mahi...it was a savory treatment of the mahi, unlike any I've had before. We'll have to keep abreast of the new dinner specials. I'm sure these will become popular much like their lunch specials have.

The Hilton Guam Resort & Spa is heading south of the border this Saturday as the Islander Terrace launches a Mexican Cuisine Lunch Buffet. Priced at $20 per person, this lunch buffet will be held every Saturday, and will feature such Mexican classics as Roasted Pork Enchilada, Mushroom Quesadilla, and Carne Asada. There will also be some desserts, including Almond Leche Flan, Spiced Bananas with Rum, and New Mexico Green Chili Cornbread. OLE!

Champ's Hot Dogs and More - Bodacious Dining in an Historical Landmark

Champ's Hot Dogs, located in Butler's Emporium in Sinajana, is not at all what you'd expect it to be. It would take a lot of imagination to conjure this place up, and as a matter of fact, it did! I'd seen a recent series of ads promoting Champ's as having the "Best Burger on Island" and to "Do the Dog", and although I had stopped by to spent time with Gerry Champion, Champ's owner, I didn't eat during that visit. I promised myself I'd get back there for a meal. Gerry is a man of his word - he is his word, just as his entire enterprise reflects his vision. To get an insight into Gerry's character and personality, the following is a statement made in his menu:

"I realize you had your choice of places to eat. I am humbled you chose mine. If anything was not right, kindly tell me. If our food and service pleased you, tell others." So, Gerry, I guess I'm telling!

Champ's is the latest in a series of concepts which have occupied this space over the years including Cafe Royale, Hobo's, and a few Mexican eateries. I think this new approach of offering big and flavorful hot dogs and hamburgers, plus old-fashioned milk shakes and fountain drinks is one that should succeed. I don't think it would be a stretch of the imagination to see Champ's and the surrounding store, Manila Bay Traders, become a visitor attraction. There simply is no other place on Guam with its collection of old signs, memorabilia, curios, collectibles, statues, period artwork, and antique gadgets. This place will totally engage your mind. It is casual, relaxed, and like eating in someone's home, with the home being nearly a museum of the arcane and droll, with signs that catch your eye every where you look. I couldn't help but burst out laughing at the humor on the surrounding walls. One sign says, "This bar is not necessarily politically correct." One could spend days looking through this enormous collection, which has elements of TGI Friday's, Jeff's Pirates Cove, and the Guam Museum, along with a ribald art and poster collection that rivals the humor of Saturday Night Live!

I didn't have a problem deciding on my lunch...I ordered a Super Dog with Mustard, Relish, Onions, Tomatoes, and Sauerkraut for $3 (I'd seen one on another customer's plate). I also ordered the "soup de jour', which happened to be an appealing French Onion, available for $4. I thought it best to go ahead and to order a burger as well, since I've been running an ongoing burger contest amongst Guam's restaurants. I ordered Champ's Hamburger, with Cheese and Bacon ($5.50 plus $,50 each for bacon and cheese). I was deliberating between a Root Beer Float ($2.25) and a Milk Shake ($3.75) without any resolution. The shakes came in a cluster of terrific sounding blends, including Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Berry, Mango, Rum Raisin, Pineapple, Vanilla, Raspberry, Blackberry, and Strawberry. My affable server, Carmen, relieved me from my perplexed state of indecision by recommending a shake not listed on the menu - a Coffee Shake.

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Bon Appetit!

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