August 26, 2005, Volume 5 Number 34
Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
Hold on to your hats! We've talked about the proliferation of restaurants in previous newsletters, with some rough estimates of 20 - 30 new restaurants opening every year! In some cases this is a good thing, since we need more variety. However, what we seem to be getting is more of the same types of ethnic cuisine eateries that are already here...Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese, Filipino and Thai. What we don't see are Cajun, Southern (U.S.), African, German, Spanish, Middle Eastern, Malaysian, or Mediterranean, to name a few.
Of course, the types of restaurants we have are reflective of Guam's population and cultures, the majority of which are Asian. So it should come as no surprise that the Fiesta Grande Restaurant (Filipino) recently opened in the former Josephine's Chamorro Kitchen location in the Oka Pay-Less Plaza. In the next week or so you will see another Filipino eatery opening in the Agana Shopping Center called the Happy Fiesta Restaurant.
While the word "fiesta" is common to both, they are not connected to the new Fiesta Resort (formerly Dai-Ichi) that should open in September. The new hotel will have several dining outlets, with the largest being The World Cafe, which will feature an International buffet along with a show kitchen. The Fiesta BBQ and Cultural Show will add another dining and entertainment venue for our local residents and visitors to enjoy. Other new outlets set to open in the near future include Muang Thai Restaurant (former Somjai location in Tamuning), Island Cuisine (Maite's Day's Inn, where I' Natibu had been), and another restaurant in the New Day's Inn location on Ypao Road in Tamuning.
There are even more restaurants in the planning stages and on the drawing boards...we'll certainly keep you posted as we hear about them! One thing for sure - we've all got a lot of good eating ahead for us, and we'll be there to cover them, one bite at a time!
Ken, the Guam Food Guy!
In Today's Issue:
- Guam's Little League Team Shines in 2005 Little League World Series
- Mico & Stevie "End Of Summer" Benefit Concert - Sunday August 28 Hilton Guam
- GVB's 35th Anniversary Events & Gala Dinner, Sept 1-3, 2005
- Old Hagatna Grill's Lunch Menu - Daily Delights plus Catch of the Day
- Rolfing - Why Structural Integration Does a Body (and Mind) Good!
- This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter
- Around the Island - Jan Z's Breakfast, Friday's Breakfast, Manhattan's Coconut Shrimp Martini
- Lieng's - Tamuning's Oldest Vietnamese Eatery Keeps 'em Coming Back for More!
Guam's Little League Team Shines in 2005 Little League World Series
We want to give a resounding "atta boy" and "kudos" to Guam's Central East Little League team from Barrigada-Mangilao in the recent victories (latest was over Mexico's team, 5-3) in the 2005 Little League World Series in South Williamsport, PA. This highly motivated and well-trained team of young boys has made the island extremely proud, and has certainly made a name for themselves and for Guam with their hard-earned success. We wish them well in their match against the defending champions from the Caribbean on Thursday.
Mico & Stevie "End Of Summer" Benefit Concert - Sunday August 28 Hilton Guam
One of Guam's most popular duos, Mico & Stevie, will be holding a fund-raising "End of Summer" concert this Sunday, August 28 in the Micronesian Ballroom at the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa. The concert lasts from 7 - 10 pm, and will also feature some of Guam's top musicians in an evening filled with Jazz and R&B. Tickets can be purchased this Friday and Saturday at Roy's Lounge, where the dynamic musical duo regularly perform, and can also be purchased at Jungle Java Cafe in the Acanta Mall as well as at the door. Ticket price is $17, with the proceeds benefitting Make a Wish Foundation. The concert will feature some of Mico & Stevie's original music, including songs from their latest full length CD, which will be available for purchase at Sunday night's concert.
GVB's 35th Anniversary Events & Gala Dinner, September 1-3
A series of events are planned in celebration of Guam Visitor Bureau's 35th Anniversary, which start on Thursday September 1 and end with a Gala Dinner at the Leo Palace on Saturday September 3. Below is a list of the main activities to be held at GVB's Tumon office this next week:
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Thursday September 1
Open House for island dignitaries
Presentation of Beautification Equipment to Village Mayors
Milestones of Tourism Exhibit
Friday September 2
Open House for general public
Milestones of Tourism Exhibit
Saturday September 3
35th Anniversary GALA Reception & Dinner*
Zefiro Ballroom, Hotel Belvedere, Leo Palace Resort
Attire: Coat and Tie/ Formal
Tickets: $100 or $900 for a Table of 10
Agenda: Service awards will be presented to 18 GVB employees who have served between five and 25 years with the Bureau, the Governor will sign a special proclamation, in addition to special live entertainment there will be a fascinating video montage chronicling GVB history.
*The public is cordially invited. For reservations and information, contact Vanessa Simpliciano at 646-5278/9 or by email to email@example.com.
Old Hagatna Grill's Lunch Menu - Daily Delights plus Catch of the Day
There are plenty of reasons why one should consider having lunch at the Old Hagatna Grill, with most of them being food. OHG boasts an impressive lunch menu with mouth-watering delights such as a Black Peppercorn Spiced Burger with Balsamic Aioli, Sauted Mushrooms, and Swiss Cheese ($9.50), Four-Cheese Pizza (Quattro Formaggio - Chevre, Mozzarella, Fontina, and Grana Padano) over Fresh Tomato-Basil-Garlic Sauce ($8), and Ahi Crunchy Salad with Crispy Julienne Vegetables and Romaine Tossed in Soy Vinaigrette, Topped with Crunchy Wonton Strips and Spicy Seared Ahi ($12).
I had the Catch of the Day special, which was Grilled Mahi with Firecracker Sauce ($15). This was a fabulous meal, with the mahi seeming to have jumped right out of the water! The firecracker sauce was a spicy thrill (their sauces change all the time). However, I also asked for OHG's finadene, which I consider among the island's best. I was also pleased to discover that Jennifer James is now on board at the OHG. You may recall that she was the superb server mentioned in this year's review of the Pacific Trading Club. OHG is pleased to have her. Check out OHG's lunch and dinner menus posted on GuamDiner.com. For more information, call OHG at 472-5885.
Rolfing - Why Structural Integration Does a Body (and Mind) Good
I am sure that most of you have little or no idea what Rolfing is. Developed by Dr. Ida P. Rolf, Rolfing is a series of ten sessions that are designed to help the body align itself within the gravitational field. It is quite different than massage, with which it is often confused since it does involve the use of hands on the body. Rolfing is more involved than massage, since it works with the body's connective tissue or fascia. The fascia is the thin elastic semi-fluid membrane that covers the muscles, bones, nerves, blood vessels, and body organs.
Earlier this week I had my second Rolfing Session, so I have first hand experience of its impact on me. I have been able to achieve a flexibility in my feet and back that I've not had in ages, and have felt lighter and more energized. This is still early in my sessions, but I can understand how Rolfing can benefit many people(I would even say everyone) with their posture, flexibility, and general well-being. Pat Pexa, is our local certified rolfer. You can contact Pat 687-PEXA (7392) or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Rolfing, visit the Rolf Institute website.
Stay tuned for future updates on my progress through the Rolfing sessions. It is my expectation that many of you or people you know, would benefit from Rolfing. Particularly those who have suffered some type of physical injury which has resulted in flexibility problems.
This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter
August 27 2004, Vol 4 No 35
Doraku Restaurant - New Izakaya Offers Exceptional Japanese Cuisine
Heinz Meets Jeff - A Typhoon Dining Adventure in Ipan
A Bit About Salt - What Chefs are Using to Enhance Taste
Around the Island - Jan Z's Breakfast, Friday's Breakfast, Manhattan's Coconut Shrimp Martini
During the last "Tourism & You " Guam Food Guy Segment on K57, I had Jan Z's manager Bill Bradford as a guest on the Saturday morning radio show. Bill surprised me (and everyone in the studio, including Jon Anderson), by bringing in some of Jan Z's awesome food, including their famous Jan Z Burger, the Fish & Chips, Chicken Strips, and the biggest Blueberry Pancake you ever saw! Guess I didn't get enough of Jan Z's because the next day I went down to their Agat Marina eatery for breakfast. One of the unique breakfast menu items at Jan Z's is the Hobo, which for $9 gives you fresh broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and onions sauted with ham, bacon (or sausage) and rice, hash browns or home fries, that is then topped with two eggs & cheese. This comes with toast or an English muffin. The Blue Berry Pancake is $2, and you can get a stack of three for $4.75. Don't ask me where you'd put the stack! I did have an omelet, made with three eggs, Provolone cheese (I could have had American, Swiss, mozzarella, cheddar, or Parmesan), green onions, ham, and tomatoes ($7 plus $3 for all my add-ins), & wheat toast. Breakfast is served seven days a week and starts at 8am. For more information, call 565-2814.
Speaking of breakfasts, T.G.I.Friday's has recently announced a breakfast service on Saturdays and Sundays, from 8am til noon. I haven't seen the menu particulars, but did see a photo of some pretty awesome looking French Toast pieces, as well as an appealing egg dish (looked like a Spanish Omelette). Guess we'll have to plan a visit to their Tumon location some future weekend.
Last week we mentioned the fabulous Coconut Promotion at the Marriott's Manhattan Steakhouse that runs through September. We were finally able to sample one of the appetizers, the Coconut Shrimp Martini with an Apricot Horseradish Dipping Sauce ($9.50). We took a photo of this special appetizer which is served in one of Manhattan's signature Martini glasses and wooden Martini Tray. The shrimp are battered then coated in Panko and deep fried until they reach a crispy golden brown. The shrimp are moist and meaty, and the unusual dipping sauce has a semi-sweet, fruity kick to it, and is definitely worth trying. See the Coconut Promotion Menu at GuamDiner.com to get a better idea of the other coconut creations available at Manhattan Steakhouse.
Lieng's - Tamuning's Oldest Vietnamese Eatery Keeps 'em Coming Back for More!
Lieng's Restaurant, located in Tamuning's Hafa Adai Exchange, has been serving customers its tasty Vietnamese food for the past fourteen years! Though I've never reviewed Lieng's since becoming the Food Guy, I'd eaten here probably eight or nine years ago, and still don't know why I hadn't returned to this undeniably successful eatery that's located in what's becoming one of the island's more diversified "food courts". After all, the Hafa Adai Exchange is home to The Curry Kebab, the Kamayan/Island's Fisherman, numerous Filipino fast-food places and the Marianas Trench. I guess another reason for Lieng's popularity is the fact that they are open when most are closed, serving food from 11am to midnight seven days a week. The most compelling reason for Lieng's survival (and that of probably all of the 25 Vietnamese restaurants on Guam) is that the people of Guam have an on-going love affair with Fried Lumpia, which Lieng's owner, Phuoc Nguyen, says is their most popular dish.
Though I'd been harboring the seeds of curiosity about Lieng's for some time, it wasn't until recently when I was asked by someone what I thought of Lieng's Vietnamese food, specifically their Fresh Lumpia, that I decided I really needed to try their food. I went to Lieng's for lunch on a day that was not the best for reviewing. A nearby building was being painted which filled the dining room with fumes. This explained why the front door was open with fans blowing. I considered coming back but noticed some people dining who recognized me and decided to stick it out.
I was served by Anna, who apologized for the paint fumes, and then took my order. I asked for the Fresh Lumpia (three rolls $5), followed by Fried Rice with Mixed Vegetables and Shrimp ($7), which Anna swore was better than Shirley's. I also ordered Chicken Lemon Grass ($7) and, much to Anna's amazement, the Fried Pork Chop ($7).
While waiting for my food I watched one of two TV screens that were tuned to the History Channel. The dining room was very bright, with sunlight pouring through the front windows and then reflected by the arched mirrors decorating the walls next to the booths. This place was typical of so many of the old-style Vietnamese restaurants on Guam, with fluorescent lights, fake plants, laminated table tops, and vinyl booths - oh wait, that is actually typical of many restaurants on Guam. In their favor was the fact that Lieng's was really quite clean.
The Fried Rice was the first entree delivered. It wasn't a huge portion, but it was certainly one of the most colorful I'd seen competing nicely with the brilliantly colored plastic plate with floral print on which it was served. In addition to the usual vegetable ingredients it also had corn, lima beans, and green beans plus egg, pork, shrimp and garlic. It definitely had more ingredients than Shirley's, yet wasn't as good as May's.
The next dish to come was the Lemon Grass Chicken, which was served with a salad (romaine, tomatoes, and cucumber, topped by the ubiquitous Thousand Island Dressing). I recall mentioning in an earlier review of Vietnamese restaurants how nearly all of them use this basic dressing on their salads, which are almost always served on the plate next to the hot entree. The Lemon Grass chicken was sizeable, filling half of the plate's space. Cut green onion stalks, lemon grass, onions, and black pepper topped the chicken. The taste and flavor of lemon grass permeated the dish and the steaming white rice it was served with was a nice complement to the dish.
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