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January 6, 2006, Volume 6 Number 1


Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

Although we may technically be in 2006, there's still a big part of me "stuck" in 2005! There's a lot of unfinished business that I am still tending to and if I only had two more weeks of December, I'm sure I'd have been done! I'm still wondering where the time went. But, it's time to face reality. The calendar has changed and January 2006 is well underway.

I did want to correct one detail in last week's newsletter. When I talked about the restaurant closings, I had not yet listed "Cravings" as having closed its doors. As some of you may recall, Cravings was that small Agana eatery that opened in the Ada's complex along the corner where Rt. 8 and Marine Corps Drive meet, in the location that once housed Quizno's. Cravings had taken what seemed like forever to open, and once they did, many people were glad to once again get those great malasadas that Auntie M used to make (Cravings had acquired the recipe and training from Auntie M.). Cravings had not even been in business for 4 months! They'd opened in September and closed in December. That goes to show you how difficult the restaurant business can be. If you are going to be in the food service business, you have to really commit yourself to succeeding.

Many restaurants are small, family-run businesses, and to sustain themselves, family members have to pitch in and do their part to make the restaurant viable. A good local example of how a family-owned restaurant stays in business is featured as this week's review. Nuts & Grains has been a part of the island's healthy alternative lifestyle for a number of years, providing health-oriented groceries and range of natural wellness products including vitamins, supplements, and sundry body care items. Why have so many people made Nuts & Grains a regular dining and shopping destination? Part of the reason is that they like the personal touch and service offered by a small family-owned entity, as opposed to large chain stores that just sell aisles and aisles of products. We support and applaud those who have made the hard choice to be in a small service business in what I consider to be a tough market. I urge you to consider giving some of your dollars to these smaller family-operated businesses. They really mean it when they say "Thank you!"

Ken, The Guam Food Guy

In Today's Issue

  • Farewell to Uncle Bob - King Of Steaks
  • Pietro Opens with Unique Tasting Italian Fare
  • This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter
  • Around the Island - Stanlee's Awesome BLT Beats 'em ALL!, Pattaya Thai
  • Nuts & Grains - A Healthier Choice for the Family

Farewell to Uncle Bob - King Of Steaks

Bob Dalizel, proprietor of Uncle Bob's Steak House, passed away in the Mainland just before the new year, while undergoing cancer treatment. His passing brings a final and restful closure to what was a painful and difficult time for "Uncle Bob", as he was affectionately and commonly called. [Photo L-R: Triple 8 owner, Jimmy Ferrante; GFG Ken Stewart; "Uncle Bob", Robert Dalizel]

It was not easy watching his new steak house location in Anigua wither away and disappear from Guam's culinary landscape, especially when so many people had stepped up to his big steak platter to test their ability to finish one of his behemoth T-bones or Porterhouses. Uncle Bob's Watering Hole in Sumay was a legendary hangout for many a sailor who stepped out of the main Naval Station gate to down a few brews and get some wholesome grub. It was a fun spot, with pool tables, maritime paraphernalia, game machines, a jukebox full of favorite hits, and engaging servers. The new Uncle Bob's brought a savory lineup of smoked brisket, barbecued chicken, and mouth-watering ribs.The bar area would fill up at nights as Uncle Bob's would try to re-capture the energy of the old location. It never really succeeded in replicating it's old run-down charm that made it so endearingly familiar to the seafaring masses.

It was, in the end, a good run for Uncle Bob. He was able to open with a bang and close with a whisper, and he did get high marks for what still has to be one of Guam's biggest burgers, not to mention the top spot for the largest steaks. We offer a toast to Uncle Bob and thank him for creating those super-sized menu items that will earn him a place in Guam's culinary folklore. Our condolences to Uncle Bob's lifelong companion, his wife Vicki, and to the Dalizel family.

Pietro Opens with Unique Tasting Italian Fare

Pietro Guam opened softly in the last week of December and has already impressed diners with a different tasting style of Italian fare. We went to Pietro in the Acanta Mall on New Year's Eve and were able to sample several appetizers and entrees from their extensive menu. The Tomato and Asparagus Salad ($9.95) was pretty good, with careful attention to using fresh ingredients. The same applies to the Salmon and Spinach with Cream Basil Sauce pasta ($10.95). We had pizzas that were better than usual (priced in the $10-12 range), with one of them topped with shrimp and broccoli. Pietro has a casual elegance that I think many diners will find refreshing. They are still quite new, though they do have the benefit of being part of a successful Japan-based restaurant chain that's been growing by franchising. They are open at lunch and close after dinner, offering all day dining, which should be a good draw for the Acanta Mall. We wish them success with their new eatery, and suggest you give them a try sometime. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by their unique preparations and presentations such as the Eggplant and Spicy Ground Beef, $12.75 in the photo.

This Time Last Year - Highlights from the Guamdiner Newsletter

Jan 7 2005 Vol 5 No 1

Restaurant Reviewed: Hy's Steak House - When Two "CABs" Make Dining Fine

Highlights:
Y Kusina Chamorro Restaurant Moving to Palace Hotel
Suntees/PowerGrafix 7th New Year's Resolution 5K Run, Walk, & Wheel - Jan 8
Healthy Events at GMH and Synergy Studio & Cafe

Around the Island - Stanlee's Awesome BLT Beats 'em ALL!, Pattaya Thai

Attention! All BLT lovers! I have found the ultimate BLT on Guam and it's located at Stanlee's Deli & Liquor Store in Tumon. Yes, for $5.50, you get a heap of meaty bacon along with crisp green lettuce, red juicy tomato slices, mayo, and toasted white bread. The fries that Stanlee's serves are cooked in peanut oil and are the kind that you can't stop eating once you start! Stanley says he'll put an egg on this sandwich if you ask him and then you'll have a complete breakfast sandwich. Stanlee's is open from 9am-12 midnight and you can call your orders in at 646-1328. He's also got the largest selection of wines, beers, sodas, and sundry items from Australia. Try the BLT challenge and tell me if I'm wrong!

I'm glad to welcome Pim Sonepoo back to the local Thai restaurant scene. It was at her legendary Pim's Place on Chalan San Antonio that I became enamored with Thai Cuisine back in the 90's. Well, Pim's just opened Pattaya Authentic Thai Food in Tamuning, just down the street from Uri Jip and the Ben Franklin Crafts store (on the same road with little Tommy's Barber shop. They share the same building with the Treasure Hut, which is a must-stop-by store full of all kinds of imported goodies). Pim's Penang Curry ($8) is the real deal, as well as her Kai Pad Baikraproa (Basil Chicken, $7). Her Pad Thai( $7) is one of her trademark dishes. Call 647-7467 for take-out or just go there and enjoy a relaxing meal in this clean, well-appointed eatery.

Nuts & Grains - A Healthier Choice for the Family

Nuts & Grains is one of those places that just sort of grows on you, in a good way, that is. Located in Tamuning's Oka Plaza behind Pay-Less Supermarket, Nuts & Grains has been catering to many health-conscious people for a number of years, serving special lunches (mainly vegetarian with some meat options) as well as selling health food products in their grocery section. Owned by Libby Pier, Nuts & Grains is a favorite spot for discriminating diners who want to eat responsibly, but who also want to enjoy the food they eat. They are more widely-known as a health food store, and the restaurant is really kind of an added-on embellishment.

Though I haven't reviewed Nuts & Grains since July 2002, it has been a place I've frequented often. I have made it my favorite place to get my "Food Guy" special smoothie (Mango/Strawberry/Banana with Whey Protein), which I usually order by calling Shane, Libby's son, when I need a quick and healthy meal replacement I can drink while on the go. However, it's when I go to the store with the express purpose of eating there, that I really find a special solace and relaxation just from being there that elevates the meal to more of a spiritual retreat.

Ordering is simple at Nuts & Grains. You just walk up to the counter and read from the menu boards posted on the walls behind it. They serve two kinds of quiche daily, as well as a special soup. Today's choices were the Spinach & Mushroom and Asparagus & Tomato Quiches ($3.50/slice), along with Split Pea Soup ($3.50/small & $4.50/large). I ordered the Spinach and Mushroom along with a small soup. I also ordered the Nuts & Grains Burger ($5.50), which is a Garden burger on a whole wheat bun with lettuce, tomato, sprouts, and a special sauce. I even ordered a Large Smoothie (Mango/Strawberry/Banana) for $4.50, even though I had already selected an Outrageous Ginger Ale from the beverage chiller. This Ginger Ale is a Natural Brew, Hand-crafted beverage that blends Jamaican and Chinese ginger roots resulting in a crisp, stimulating, and refreshing drink. Other intriguing drinks await your selection in this refrigerated display case.

There are about six small tables near the window entrance of the store. If you are alone, it's a good place to sit and catch up on some reading, which is what can do while you wait for your order to be prepared. Or, you can walk through the aisles and peruse a variety of health food products, ranging from nuts, whole grains, granola, cereal, couscous, hummus mix, cookies, juices, crackers, soups, jams, seasonings, spices, nutrition bars, and many other hard-to-find products. Nuts & Grains is the only place on Guam to find many of the essential ingredients of Indian cuisine.

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Bon Appetit!

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Copyright 2006 Guam Diner