September 2, 2005, Volume 5 Number 35
Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
Our prayers go out to the thousands of families whose lives have been uprooted by the cataclysmic natural disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina. Although areas in Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida have been decimated along with other coastal cities in Louisiana, no other place has captivated the world's attention as much as the legendary City of New Orleans, famous for Cajun and Creole cuisine, jazz, and a "Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez" (let the good times roll) attitude best showcased during New Orleans annual Mardi Gras.
While each day brings more horrifying images and stories of suffering, there are also great stories of heroism and daring rescues. It's hard to imagine that a town best known for it's cuisine and for such famous chefs as Paul Prudhomme, Emeril Lagasse, and Jamie Shannon (all were launched at the Commander's Palace, a culinary landmark which was scheduled to celebrate its 125th anniversary during a street party this October 26) would be reduced to emergency rationing and MRE's.
Although the loss of lives is a much graver consequence than the loss of property, the topic of food shortages for famous Louisiana exports such as Tabasco, Cajun seasonings such as Zatarain's, and coffee has been raised and prompted some people to consider hoarding. Hoping to allay some of those fears, we have done some research and have discovered that, according to their website, "the McIlhenny Company is operating normally and the production of TABASCO brand products are unaffected by the recent hurricane."
I am confident that New Orleans will recover, rebuild, and rebound in the months ahead, much like Guam has after the really bad typhoons we experienced just a couple of years ago. Now is a time for us to open up our hearts and wallets to donate to those families who need food, clothing, and shelter. Support the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and any other non-profit humanitarian aid organization that will be providing relief and aid to those disenfranchised victims of America's worst natural disaster ever. Donations can be made at the local chapter level or on line at the American Red Cross or Salvation Army websites.
Ken, "The Guam Food Guy"
In Today's Issue:
- K57 Golf Tournament - Sept 17 GICC Benefits Scouts & Mangilao Church Building
- Tumon's Garlic House - A Must-Try Garlic For Garlic Lovers
- Online Menus and Specials - Make Dining Selections Easier
- La Dolce Vita at Firefly Bistro
- Pastries in Paradise - A Delicious Annual Event, October 8, Hilton Guam
- This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter
- Around the Island - Lone Star Dinner, May's Wonton Noodle Soup, Tumon Beer Garden, Cold Stone Creamery Sundae
- T.G.I. Friday's Weekend Breakfast Menu - Not Just Ordinary Pancakes & Eggs
K57 Golf Tournament - Sept 17 GICC Benefits Scouts & Mangilao Church Building
Showtime is 11am on Saturday September 17 for Newstalk K57's Charity Golf Tournament at the Guam International Country Club. Shotgun start time is noon at this Callaway Double Peoria classified event. Participation is limited to the first 124 players and application forms can be picked up at the Sorensen Pacific Broadcasting Offices on the 8th floor of the Bank of Guam Headquarter's Building in Hagatna or at the GICC front office (see Gloria Cavanaugh). Proceeds from this tournament will benefit the Guam Girl Scouts, the Guam Boy Scouts, and the Mangilao Church Building Fund. The entry fee is $100 per player, and includes green fees, cart fee, and banquet dinner.
Tumon's Garlic House - A Must-Try Garlic For Garlic Lovers
The Garlic House, located on the ground floor of the Tumon Bay Capital Hotel just above the entrance to Tarza, is a garlic lover's haven! We drove there this past Wednesday night through the blustery winds and rain caused by Typhoon Nabi and were surprised that San Vitores had not flooded out as it has in the past!
Open only for dinner, we found a few new menu additions (see their menu online) such as the Cold Tofu Garlic House Style ($4.98), Fried Noodle Indonesian Style ($13.98 full/$7.98 half), and an item previously on the Chef's Recommend list as the fresh catch, now labeled "Fried Guam's Fish" ($8.98). We ordered appetizers and entrees we hadn't tried previously; Green Vegetable's with Garlic Butter ($7.98), Mixed Green Salad with Tuna served with Italian Dressing ($6.98 half), Spaghetti with Garlic Oil Base - Pepperoncino ($6.98 half), Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce Base - Anchovy, Olive & Capers ($8.98 half), and last, but not least, the famous "Garlic House" Bread ($4.98 reg).
The flavors were "off-the-charts" garlic-laden...and the Pepperoncino spaghetti dish had the largest chili pepper I've ever seen on a plate!! The Garlic Bread is one that you plunge the garlic butter down inside the soft white middle, and then tear apart the crusty loaf and eat to your heart's content! You certainly know you've had garlic as you drive away from the Garlic House, cause you can taste and feel it! Be sure to download, print, and present the 10% discount coupon. It's an easy way to save on your restaurant bill. Enjoy an aromatic, savory dinner at the Garlic House. It'll do ya good!
Online Menus and Specials - Make Dining Selections Easier
Thinking of going out for lunch or dinner and not sure what you'd like to eat? Well, there's good news for those who'd like to preview meals to see what's featured. At GuamDiner, we have both Lunch and Dinner Specials, that include menus and special offers from such places as Le Tasi Bistro, Manhattan Steakhouse, The Curry Kebab, Planet Hollywood, May's Restaurant, Bestseller, Cup & Saucer, Nuts & Grains, Firefly, La Brasserie, Y Kusina, and the Marriott Cafe. If you are planning on going out to dinner and want to know what some of the appetizers, entrees and desserts are before you go, you can view menus from Prego, Old Hagatna Grill, Sereno's, Lone Star, and more. More menus are forthcoming to give you an even broader choice from which to choose your next dining experience. Bon appetit!
La Dolce Vita at Firefly Bistro
One of the best things about Firefly Bistro is the constant updating of menu specials. Recent themes have included American bistro fare and Nuevo Latino flavors. Firefly's new menu items feature classic Italian dishes. One of the best things about this elegantly casual eatery is the affordable set menus which are designed to please the most discriminating palates without emptying your wallet. Here are the new offerings:
Tuesday & Wednesday - Three Course Set Menu $29
Antipasto Salad with Rosemary Foccacia Toast
Firefly Osso Bucco with Saffron Risotto with Pine Nut Gremolata
Espresso Float made with chilled organic coffee Espresso topped with vanilla or coffee ice cream, homemade biscotti
Thursday Night Wine Special - Receive a Free glass of Beringer's Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, or White Zinfandel with a purchase of any a la carte dinner entree.
Friday & Saturday - Four Course Set Menu $39
Firefly Antipasto Platter
Florentine Mushroom Soup with Herb Toast
Balsamic Glazed Pork Chop OR Yellowfin Tuna
both served with Olive Oil Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes
Grilled Seasonal Fruit
A la carte diners receive a free special appetizer with the purchase of any a la carte dinner entree on Friday and Saturday nights.
A new Lunch Special option available is the Antipasto Lunch Salad with mixed greens, house pickled vegetables, beans, olives, Genoa salami, pepper jack cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette. Another Lunch Special served is the Italian Club Sandwich made with turkey, Genoa salami, pepper jack cheese, olives, pepperocini, roasted peppers & onions, and aioli. Call Firefly Bistro at 477-2565 for reservations and more information.
Pastries in Paradise - A Delicious Annual Event, October 8, Hilton Guam
Can it be that time of year again? Yes, "confectionados" it's the annual Pastries in Paradise, scheduled for Saturday October 8th, at the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa. This year's theme is "Sweet Dreams", and will again feature the Bailey's Dessert Challenge. There will also be a Torani Beverage Competition. Sponsored by the GHRA, ST Corp., Archway, Inc., the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa, and the Pacific Daily News, Pastries In Paradise is a fund-raising event benefiting the Guam Chapter of Lend A Hand, a local non-profit organization to assist island families in time of need. If you would like to set up a booth to display your beverage products or to prepare desserts and pastries for entry into the competitions, you can call the GHRA office for more information at 649-1447 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter
Sept 3, 2004, Vol 4 No 36
Restaurant Reviewed: Hava Java Cafe - Simply The Best!
Highlights: Mekong Restaurant Opens in Tumon with Viet/French/Thai Menu
What are "Heritage" Grains? Ancient Sources of Nutrition Still Good For You
Around the Island - Lone Star Dinner, May's Wonton Noodle Soup, Tumon Beer Garden, Cold Stone Creamery Sundae
Lone Star Steakhouse is another one of those places one has to frequent, just to stay up with some of the new menu additions and changes. I have a mental note to try the Smoked Prime Rib on my next visit. However, I got exactly what I wanted the other night when I had the San Antonio Sirloin (a sizzling 12 oz. for $19.99), which included a side Caesar salad, baked potato with all the fixin's and those heavenly, fresh-from-the oven baked bread rolls which I think are the unrivaled on the island. My partner wanted seafood so she ordered the Sweet Bourbon Mahi ($19.99), which is a 10 oz. portion of tender fresh Mahi-Mahi that's been marinated in sweet bourbon, then grilled over mesquite briquettes to a melt-in-your-mouth perfection. I was lucky she shared a bit of this with me. She maxxed out on her choice of starch - the baked sweet potato - they just serve them too big! For my part, I've been on a mission to use finadene sauce whenever I can, and it worked marvelously with the lean sirloin (sirloin is a great source of protein...almost pure meat with hardly any fat). A final benefit for this night's meal was the 10% discount afforded by using my GuamCell FX Nation Card. Sure comes in handy when I 'm trying to save! Lone Star is one of Guam's more advanced restaurant operations - they seem to be ahead of the power curve when it comes to promotions and finding new ways to satisfy customers. They even have a $25 eGift Certificate that can be purchased at guamgifts.com. This is an ideal present for stateside families wanting to buy gifts for local residents! That's what I call foresight!
It was Wednesday afternoon and we were drenched by the rains from Typhoon Nabi. We had to warm our freezing bodies, and could think of no more convenient place for lunch than May's Restaurant, across from GPO in the KimChee Complex. We ordered the Wonton Noodle Soup ($7), the 1/2 Crispy Chicken ($5.50), and May's Combination Fried Rice ($7). The Wonton Noodle Soup was the priority, and it was our first time having it as opposed to the Wonton Soup, which I consider to be among the best. Well, the Wonton Noodle soup was loaded with noodles...it was a meal in itself. Had those great wontons too...May's have shrimp and pork inside...just fresh and flavorful! The two pots of hot jasmine tea also helped to warm the chill from our bones. There's nothing better than to eat a satisfying meal to lift one's spirits, and May's is fairly good at doing just that. For great take-out, call May's at 647-3188.
Ever hear of the Tumon Beer Garden? Well, it's not really a restaurant name, it's more of an event destination for an established Tumon restaurant better known at Giant Lobster & Steak House. They do have Guam's largest outdoor deck and garden overlooking San Vitores Road. What they've just introduced is Live Entertainment (to accompany their live lobster!). On Thursday you can find Mike & Joe (island music), on Friday you can listen to the acoustic sounds of Kaya, and on Saturday be entertained by the Jazz and Island sounds of David Flores. Happy Hour is 6-9pm with $3 beer specials and Free Pupus. There are two special platters available, the first is $14.95, and includes a choice of Mahi-mahi, Chicken Teriyaki, Top Sirloin or Grilled Shrimp. The second is $19.95, and gives you a choice of Lobster Tail, Top Sirloin, Crab Legs or New York Steak. Both platters include a choice of Soup or Salad, and Rice or Baked Potato, along with an Appetizer, Steamed Vegetable, and Ice Cream! Sounds like a deal to me! Call 647-5858.
Cold Stone Creamery's ice cream is available in more ways than you can imagine, but if you just want a simple Ice Cream Sundae, you can get that too for just $4.79. Sounds pricey? Not really, considering the quality of the ice cream you get. You also have choices beyond anyone else's capacity to deliver. My ice cream was French Vanilla and Mocha, and I went with the traditional roasted almonds (I could have had walnuts, macadamia, pecans, and peanuts). The whipped cream is pre-made and squeezes out of a tube with a starred dispenser so that it makes fancy swirls. The hot fudge was what prompted my original craving (I yearned this after feasting at Garlic House), and I guess it served as my allotted "excess" for the week! Thank you Cold Stone Creamery!
T.G.I. Friday's Weekend Breakfast Menu - Not Just Ordinary Pancakes & Eggs
There's been a long-standing wish for an American-style breakfast eatery in the heart of Tumon and it appears that T.G.I. Friday's is one of the first to officially "plate up"! For over 20 years there's been an ongoing discussion of where to put a King's, Denny's or IHop, however a decision was never made on the best location, whether it would be free-standing or part of a hotel. McDonald's established a location serving an American breakfast menu, but it's really a QSR (quick service restaurant - which is new speak for fast-food) so it's not the same category.
I received a notice that Friday's was going to launch this new weekend-only breakfast menu and happened to meet two members of the kitchen team who suggested I try it. We did, and determined that the menu was worth trying, however, we would certainly order different items on a future visit. We also realized that many people on Guam probably prefer going to King's, Denny's, Shirley's, Jan Z's, or to any hotel's Sunday brunch, based on local eating habits. What Friday's doesn't have is SPAM, nor Tapas, Portuguese Sausage, or Bangus (milkfish). These are local eats - definitely something that even big chains like McDonald's have seen fit to include on their menu in one way or another. They also don't have Eggs Benedict, which is in demand as well.
In Friday's defense, though, their menu is genuinely American (if you pardon the inclusion of "French" Toast, which we can always claim we've naturalized!), and they serve breakfast on both Saturday and Sunday, from 8am-Noon. Moreover, Friday's Breakfast Menu is more upscale and eclectic than what you'd expect, serving a pancake that's literally a cake and not the griddled "flap jacks" of which so many of us are enamored. Friday's has also brought out a family of yogurt and fruit concoctions made with granola to appeal to the more health-conscious appetites. And, as we were to discover, even the venerable omelet has been re-invented by Friday's.
One of the first things you see when opening the Friday's breakfast menu is the Breakfast Bar, which has specialty beverages, fruit juices, and sodas. We picked two of four specialty drinks, the Good Morning America and the November Seabreeze, both $3.50. The Good Morning America is a yogurt drink that's "perfected with a mixture of Pina Colada Mix (non-alcoholic) and Strawberry puree"), and the November Seabreeze is a super-tart "refreshing mixture of Cranberry and Apple juices with Lime and a splash of Soda". I liked the yogurt drink, since I'm a smoothie lover. It wasn't a smoothie as it wasn't made with ice to cool it down. It was thick, creamy, and yogurty with a strawberry/coconut twist. We also ordered coffee - regular and not espresso beverages - and I was impressed with the strength of the fresh brewed coffee.
We finally decided on the Praline Pecan Pancakes ($7.50) from their Breakfast Delight's section, which also listed a few waffle variations and an alluring Apple French Toast ($7.75) that I'll try on my next visit, and the Friday's All American Breakfast ($8.50), that had two eggs any style, with a choice of sausage or bacon (she chose sausage), and toast & hashed browns. My partner wanted her eggs folded over with cheese inside something off menu which they accommodated - that's one great thing about Friday's, they take care of customers. I asked to have bacon on the side and the menu side order chart for the extras priced it at $0.75. The three pieces I got were good and meaty, and of a superior quality to higher priced side orders of bacon at other restaurants.
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