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September 30, 2005, Volume 5 Number 39


Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

Last Friday was one of my most eventful days in a while for experiencing different eateries around the island, with some of my visits even occurring after the island-wide power outage. Fortunately, all of my stops did not necessarily entail eating a full meal, but for sampling, I can say I had my "fill!"

Prior to lunch, I managed to stop by Cup & Saucer and coaxed myself into having an unfrosted Cinnamon Roll (I rate these the best), and shortly afterward, I stopped into the new Cravings Cafe, where I did buy a plain malassada, and was given a couple more to try which I later passed along to some hungry folks. Aside from Malassadas, Cravings has soups, sandwiches, specialty coffees and teas, and a variety of pastries and desserts, and, yes, they did offer me a slice of their superb Pina Colada Chilled Cheesecake.

I later stopped by the magnificent new House of Chin Fe that had just opened that morning (lunch was packed) and soon after visited the new Central Perk Cafe a few blocks away. Since I was heading for the Food Guy show on K57, I brought two Maui Wowie Smoothies (made with fresh mango and coconut by Terese Ooka) and two of Naomi's warm bread puddings to share with Big Show Host Travis Coffman and his producer, Frances.

After the lights went out, Zee and I went to King's in Tamuning and enjoyed the panko fried Basa filet and then walked over to GPO's Candy Store for their incredible Crepe de France ice cream crepe (see the details and photo below in the "Around the Island" segment). We picked up a few tart pickled peaches at the Island Munchies kiosk, and then drove over to the Hilton's Caffe Cino for two Illy Caffe Mochas, mine hot and hers iced - both were a fabulous ending to a gloriously "sweet" food day on a non-stop event-filled Friday! How was yours?

Ken, "The Guam Food Guy"

In Today's Issue:

  • Get Healthy Guam - "Step By Step" Starts Oct 3 - Last Day to Register Oct 1
  • Acclaimed Swiss Pastry Chef Bruno Bohl's Dessert Showcase - Marriott Oct 3-7
  • 22nd Cafe De' MarQuee - Delightful Savory Home-Cooked Chamorro Specials
  • Pastries in Paradise - A Delicious Annual Event Saturday Oct 8, Hilton Guam
  • This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter
  • Around the Island - LTB Cheese Buffet, Marriott Specials, Candy Store Crepes
  • Palm Cafe's Saturday Night Prime Rib & Crab - Keeps You Coming Back For More!

Get Healthy Guam - "Step By Step" Starts Oct 3 - Last Day to Register Oct 1

The last date to register for the Get Healthy Guam, "Step By Step" Program is Saturday October 1, at 3pm, at Nu-Form Fitness Center for Women in Tamuning. This series of health and fitness educational sessions is organized by the Preventive Health;/Healthy Lifestyle Coalition. There are special programs for men & women (co-ed), women only, middle and high school students, pregnant women, seniors, and special groups for diabetics and those who are significantly overweight.

Amazingly, the cost for the whole program is only $30, with the sessions beginning October 3 and lasting thru November 19. The PHHLC is a coalition of community partners including wellness, allied health and medical professionals, government, and private businesses with all dedicated to supporting active and healthy lifestyles. Points of contact for the coalition are: Nu-Form Innovative Fitness for Women, Pepe at 646-3676; Paradise Fitness Centers, Jessica Kadiasang at 475-2100; or Renee Veksler, Program Co-coordinator who can be reached at 647-2350.

Acclaimed Swiss Pastry Chef Bruno Bohl's Dessert Showcase - Marriott Oct 3-7

We are excited and our tastebuds are at the ready for the upcoming visit of Swiss Pastry Chef Bruno Bohl, who will be showcasing his dessert creations at all of the various Guam Marriott Resort's food outlets including Manhattan Steakhouse, The View and the Marriott Cafe.

Chef Bruno is the Executive Pastry Chef of the JW Marriott Hotel Bangkok. During his tenure at the Thai property he has established the hugely popular Bangkok Baking Company, which is the leading pastry and bakery shop in Bangkok.

Chef Bruno will titillate your taste buds with such exotic dessert creations as Sake Tiramisu, fresh fruit tarts, and unique cheesecake creations. Some of his cheesecakes include Green Tea with Red Bean, Toffee Banoffee, Cappucino, and Blueberry. From what we've heard, you can expect to be amazed by Chef Bruno's pastry innovations. Although Chef Bohl will be here from Monday October 3 to Friday October 7, the dessert promotion will run through the end of November - I wonder if that means we can look for some spectacular Thanksgiving pies and pastries? I can't wait to treat myself to this great chef's imaginative confections!

22nd Cafe De' MarQuee - Delightful Savory Home-Cooked Chamorro Specials

Located in the Yuri Building in Barrigada (Rt 8 across from Tiyan), the 22nd Cafe De' MarQuee is one of those places people are going to start talking about after trying a lunch like we did the other day. I was tempted to make this a main review but decided that I would wait until they introduce their breakfast service daily. At present the breakfast menu which includes crepes, pancakes, omelettes, and other morning favorites is only available on Saturdays.

Lunch is a different story, and for the money, the Fried Chicken in a Basket ($5.25) and the Chicken Estafao ($6.95) lunch special was as good as the best I've had anywhere! The portions are big and the food has a wonderful, home-cooked goodness that comforts the soul. Other daily specials were Oxtail Stew (I had some of that melt-in-your mouth oxtail...it was perfect!), Corned Beef with Eggplant, and some tasty Stir-Fried Shortribs. You will also find Burgers, Sandwiches, and entrees like Fried Shrimp, Chop Steak, and Hamburger Steak on the menu. "Local Quick-Fixes", like Corned Beef & Cabbage, and Spam & Mix Vegetables are sure to fit the bill for hungry locals.

The 22nd Cafe De' MarQuee is owned by Dottie Marques and her husband, James. Dottie is known for her years as a performing hula dancer and she operates the Bright Eyes Studio (which shares a space with the restaurant). We also sampled some sinfully decadent desserts such as the Fudge Overboard (choco chunk brownie with French vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, & drizzled with chocolate sauce) and the Cinnamon French a la Fruit (French vanilla ice cream sprinkled with cinnamon and walnuts surrounded by fried strawberries, peaches, and cinnamon apples.) Keep your ears and eyes open for this place folks..it's gonna be great! For more info, call 734-4852.

Pastries in Paradise - A Delicious Annual Event Saturday Oct 8, Hilton Guam

Are you ready for an evening of "Sweet Bliss"? Well, It's happening next weekend! Yes, "confectionados" it's the annual Pastries in Paradise, scheduled for Saturday October 8th, at the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa's Marianas Ballroom. This year's theme is "Sweet Dreams", and will again feature the Bailey's Dessert Challenge. There will also be a Torani Sugar-Free Beverage Competition. The event is sponsored by the GHRA, ST Corp., Archway, Inc., the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa, and the Pacific Daily News.

Pastries In Paradise is a fund raiser benefiting the Guam Chapter of Lend A Hand, a local non-profit organization to assist island families in time of need. The public is invited to join in and indulge in Guam's penultimate dessert and beverage fantasy, all prepared and served by hospitality professionals. The event is from 6-10pm and the admission is $20 per person (12 & older) and $10 for children (6-11 yrs). Tickets are available for purchase at the PDN and the GHRA office in Tamuning.

This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter

Sept 30, 2004, Vol 4 No 40

Review Topic: Remembering Chef Jeff Hill - A Culinary Adventurer Gone Too Soon

Highlights: Grillin ' & Chillin" Contest Winners

Around the Island - LTB Cheese Buffet, Marriott Specials, Candy Store Crepes

Attention Cheese Lovers! Mark your calendars for Tuesday October 4 and head over to Le Tasi Bistro, where you will be treated to a marvelous All-You-Can-Eat Cheese Buffet for $15 which includes a glass of wine of your choice. The fun starts at 5:30pm so please call Mari Carmen for reservations and information at 472-7877. Don't forget to check out Le Tasi Bistro's daily lunch specials posted on the GuamDiner.com website. This past Tuesday I had the Grilled Swordfish with Wasabi Aioli, and a dessert that was made in heaven - a rich, silky chocolate tart!

The Marriott's Manhattan Steakhouse has "got game!" Actually, the Manhattan is running a "Gibier" Promotion. Gibier comes from the French word "gibecer" meaning "to hunt". The promotion will be featuring game dishes - some furred such as Deer, Wild Boar, and Rabbit and some winged including Pigeon, Wild Duck, and Pheasant. Menu Items you can expect for dinner include appetizers like Warm Salad of Squab or Saute Foie Gras with Roasted Shallots, accompanied by entrees such as Roasted Quail with Chantrelle Mushrooms ($19), Roast Pheasant in Cream with Apples and Calvados ($24), and Medallions of Venison with Caramelized Chestnuts ($24).

The Marriott Cafe will be offering an exciting, spice-filled buffet called the Flavors of the Indian Ocean for the months of October and November. Diners can expect to enjoy foods from the countries bordering the Indian Ocean such as India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Indonesia. During the evenings, the Seafood Buffet will feature a selection of spicy delights from the ocean. Lunch is $15 and Dinner is $35, both subject to a 10% service charge. Dinner also includes all-you-can-drink draft beer. We are looking forward to trying both lunch and dinner buffets so we can share our findings.

If you haven't had a Crepe de France at the Candy Store in the GPO Food Court, you're missing something! These delights are made fresh right before your eyes, and for $4.50, I ordered a three-scoop crepe made with Dreyer's Ice Cream. I had chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream with bananas, strawberries, whipped cream, chocolate syrup, sprinkles, and nuts all wrapped up in a tender crepe. It is really an artistic process building the crepe, and we watched Alberta show off her skills by making a crepe so beautiful and appealing that our Japanese neighbors couldn't resist getting up and going over to order one for themselves. The Candy Store is a sister business of A New Twist Pretzel Company, to which it is adjacent. All crepes are made-to-order and come with a variety of toppings.

Palm Cafe's Saturday Night Prime Rib & Crab - Keeps You Coming Back For More!

The Palm Cafe at the Outrigger Guam Resort can claim bragging rights for one night of the week, and that is its Saturday Night Prime Rib & Crab Night! As far back as I can remember, even before it was the Palm Cafe (it was called Tinige Ansianu in its earlier incarnation), Saturday was the night for all-you-can-eat Crab and Prime Rib. The fact the buffet also includes other delicious entrees, appetizers, and desserts, as well as all-you-can-drink Heineken, is great; but the real focus and interest is on the crab legs.

The $26.95 (children 6-12/$14.95) price is quite reasonable for a buffet that includes a salad bar filled with fresh fruits and vegetables of all types as well as pasta salad, kelaguen, pickled cucumbers, seafood, sashimi, and sushi along with corn soup, and clam chowder. The hot buffet items included steamed white rice, fried rice, sauteed mixed vegetables with tofu, fried parrot fish with sweet fish sauce, sweet & sour pork, barbecued chicken in oyster sauce with bell peppers and green onions, savory Australian Spanner Crab with Black Bean Sauce, and succulent Snow Crab Legs.

Just past the crab legs on the hot line is the butter cup station, where you fill a ramekin with hot melted butter, which is an essential for the gustatory enjoyment of the steamed crab. By the way, this crab has been steamed in butter water so there is already a baseline of good flavor in every bite...it's just that extra drawdown in the butter dip that makes this a meal in heaven. For those with dietary restrictions it should be noted that the Palm Cafe's extensive a la carte menu has something for every dietary requirement, so everyone can join their crab-cracking friends for dinner and not feel left out.

For those arriving in the main dining area (there are five dining sections) where the buffet lines are, the first thing you'll see is the carving station, where one of the Palm Cafe's cooks stands and slices Prime Rib on demand. This station has a full complement of toppings, including au jus, creamy horseradish, and finedene. Also at this table are two platters covered with home fries. I mention this particularly because the ones I had with my prime rib towards the end of my meal were among the freshest, crispest, and tastiest I've had on the island. I can't tell you how accustomed I've become to accepting and eating mediocre home fries...these were "the bomb"! Be sure to ask the carver if the fries were just made...they are best hot!

OK, let's cut to the chase about buffets. Everyone has them. Some are loaded with more food than humanly possible to consume or try, even on three visits. Almost all have sashimi, steamed shrimp, oysters, sushi, soups and salads. The main draws of this particular buffet are the two versions of crab and the prime rib. The Spanner Crab with Black Bean Sauce has a fan base of its own - it's a different kind of texture and meat, and the black bean sauce is preferred by many over butter. Be sure to ask for crab cracks to go with this crab..it's thicker than the snow crab pieces, which are mostly sliced down the middle. At one time the crab served at this buffet was King Crab, which are bigger and heartier than the smaller snow crabs. The snow crabs are as tasty, you just have to eat more of them to catch up with their meatier King cousins. I am sure that cost is a big factor. (If King Crab legs were put on the buffet line, the hotel would have to double the price to make it cost effective.) As for the prime rib, it was tender, juicy, and cooked to rare (pink but done perfectly). If you like prime rib and crab, then you'd gladly pay for this buffet and would skip many appetizers and entrees just to concentrate on the main events.

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Bon appetit!

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