January 13, 2006, Volume 6 Number 2
Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
I finally did it! I left the office early enough, while there was still daylight, and did a power walk on Tumon Bay just in time to catch the sunset. It's been too long since I'd last treated myself to some much-needed exercise. Walking the beach is one satisfying way to commune with nature. The people I meet and greet during the walk are doing the same thing that I'm doing, and they are happier people for it. My next big move will be to take the plunge...yes, by plunge I mean, to get wet! I've not been swimming nor diving in over a year.
That's a shameful admission for one who lives on an island. We all can get extremely involved with our work and if we don't allow some time for recreation - think about that word,"recreation", for a minute...doesn't it sound like something that's extremely important? We need to"re-create" ourselves.
The Tumon Bay walk is a must for all who love and cherish our island. If you've not walked the beach in a long while, you will be impressed by the changes that have been made, especially when you walk by the Fiesta Resort Guam. We take so much for granted living here...our visitors are standing on our white sandy beaches in awe holding cameras and capturing the sunsets. It's not a difficult thing to derive pleasure from doing something that involves Nature. What are you going to do to "re-create" yourself today?
Ken, The Guam Food Guy
In Today's Issue:
Wine Tasting & Auction Fundraiser for Deanna Palmer Tonite! 6pm Hyatt Ballroom
Make plans to attend this Friday night's special fundraiser put on by friends of Deanna Palmer, a real estate agent and long-time Guam resident who requires a bone marrow transplant as part of her cancer treatment.
Deanna Palmer has a very large circle of friends and supporters, and this event will certainly make some headway in the need to raise crucial funds for her operation. Deanna has a very aggressive form of Hodgkin's disease and needs a bone marrow transplant (using her own stem cells) as soon as possible.
Although she is insured, this particular type of surgery is not covered by her insurance and the hospital is requiring a $147,000 deposit before she can receive the transplant. If you'd like to make a Donation on line or to learn more about helping Deanna, go to Transplants.org and click on the top link "Patients We Help". You will find Deanna's information there as well as learn about this special and unique way of raising funds to help those in need. Tickets for the fund-raiser are $50 at the door and are available at the K57 offices and at Remax Realtors. Call Liz at 687-0911 or Brad at 482-2453. for more details.
Y Kusina Mahi Lunch Special - Excellent Chamorro Food
I am amazed by the number of people who still do not know where Y Kusina moved after they left their former Tamuning location. Once again, Y Kusina is on the ground floor of the Palace Hotel Guam where the former Utage Japanese Restaurant was located.
I went this past Friday in anticipation of getting their fabulous Fried Parrotfish & Mongo Beans. Well, they didn't have Parrotfish, but they did (thank goodness) have some glorious golden-fried Mahi Mahi with the Mongo Beans. I ate this in addition to an appetizer order of one of Y Kusina's signature dishes, the Tinala Katne (dried beef) with the crispy fried titiyas. To go along with this mini-feast, I had finadene dinanche and regular finadene...both were perfect accompaniments for my katne and my fish.
It was during this lunch that Randy Cepeda informed me that they'd be closing on Thursday, Jan 12 to cater for the funeral of Barbara Benito Cepeda, a relative who had just passed. I attended the funeral and saw with my own eyes how people were going back to the food lines for second and third helpings! I joked to other attendees that having Y Kusina in Hagatna cooking their tasty victuals would cause some of them to close down during lunch! Call Y Kusina at 646-2052 to find out what their daily specials are as well as when will they have some more Coconut Cream Pie - it's gotta be made in Heaven it's so good!
This Time Last Year - Highlights from the Guamdiner Newsletter
Jan 7 2005 Vol 5 No 2
Restaurant Reviewed: Samurai Waishin - Where a Warrior's Passion is His Kitchen
Y Kusina Chamorro Restaurant Closes This Week
Hilton's New Tropics BBQ Dinner Show is Hot Entertainment
Two Notable Art Events - Moe & Mae Cotton and Don Wallis' s "WEARONE" show
Around The Island - Izakaya Katsu, Carmen's Cha Cha Cha Mexican Restaurant
Izakaya Katsu still remains one of my all-time favorite places to eat...the Tofu Steak for lunch ($7) is one of the island's most interesting treats. Grilled tofu with bonito flake, scallions, garlic, pepper, mirin, and soy sauce - it's truly a dish to savor and share if you can. I also ordered Katsu-don (pork cutlet with egg $10). While enjoying this, I came to the conclusion that Katsu makes the best...it's how the pork is deep-fried in the breading...this is an art, and other chefs and cooks acknowledge that Soma-san is a master. When you go to green door, ask the server for any of the special salads that are available. He made a special one for me that combined crab meat and parmesan cheese. It was dreamy!
It was fortuitous that I attended one funeral at the cathedral for Barbara Cepeda only to learn that another friend, Mae Cruz Tenorio, had succumbed to cancer. Mae was a fellow Paradise Jaycee Member and a small lunch gathering was held at Carmen's Cha Cha Cha just across the street from the Agana Cathedral. It had been too long since I'd last been in Carmen's and though I'd already had eaten a hearty lunch prepared by Y Kusina who catered the funeral event for their aunt, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to enjoy some of Carmen's fine food. One of my table companions had a large Taco Salad with Chicken ($9.75) and that just looked like too much food for me, so I ordered the Steak Taco ($5). It was a dish to behold...just the perfect size and amount of marinated, char-grilled beef. I added sour cream, guacamole, and some zesty salsa to my soft flour tortilla to make this the perfect taco and WHAM!, it was thumbs up awesome. I was really delighted with a small side dish that contained fresh diced jicama. This was a wonderful, refreshing complement to the steak taco. As I was eating this great taco (just to soothe my craving for Mexican), Carmen had a plate of chicken quesadillas sent over. These were gleefully consumed. Gracias Carmen! I've got to return for my Carne Asada Plate.
Movie House Grill - Cozy Agat Eatery Offers Big Screen Thrills & Big Time Eats
When the Movie House Grill opened in the Agat Point Commercial Center in August 2004, it was an immediate success with local residents - and not just because of the popular movies playing on the widescreen theatre display. I had been urged by a number of readers and people who know me to stop by and give it a try. I was told that they've got a burger so big you have to see it to believe it, and a 12" Philly Cheese Steak that's only a dollar more than a 6" Steak Sandwich. Well, they were certainly right on the money about the size, and for $7.95, I don't think you can get a comparably-sized burger anywhere else on Guam. Too bad this burger's taste was not in line with it's extraordinary size. However, with a few suggested changes (at least for my preference) this burger could really rock & rule!
But, let's start at the beginning and work our way to the burger. There may not be many of you interested in driving all the way down to Agat just to get a burger and some seasoned fries; pretty tasty taters, I might add, which are generously sprinkled with BBQ seasoning. Movie House Grill will surprise you, though, with its other food offerings, especially the home-cooked Breakfast and Lunch Buffets (11am-2pm), and their Daily Dinner Specials ($8.95), which include a range of favorites including Baked Chicken (Monday), Beef Steak (Tuesday), Meatloaf (Friday) and Barbecue Short Ribs (Saturday).
I was surprised to find out that they have a Seafood Lunch Buffet ($10.95 adults/children 5-12, $7.95) on Thursdays. I was even more surprised to learn that the Movie House Grill was open on Sunday since every time I'd go down south I'd swing by and they would be closed. What I didn't know was that they are open for breakfast on Sundays from 6:30am-12 noon, which explains why they'd be closed when I'd go down in the afternoon.
I stopped by on a Tuesday during the lunch hour and was pleasantly surprised to see the chafing dishes and salad bar. I knew I was going to order the burger, but what was this buffet? I checked out the four chafers and found out that each had some kind of home-cooked comfort food like Curried Chicken (the chicken was fall-off-the-bone tender and well seasoned); Baked ham and Vegetables - kind of a stir-fry or mixed vegetables with ham; Pancit; Cheese Potatoes; Fried Rice; Braised Pork Shortribs, and Chopped Steak. There was also a salad bar with vegetables and a fruit bar for dessert. It wasn't elaborate, just simple and basic, with food that looked like it would be good to eat. And it was all you could eat and included Iced Tea.
So, I ordered the Bacon Cheeseburger and decided to sample the buffet (just the hot line items, and little portions at that but I still had to pay the full $9.95). While I was eating the buffet items and drinking my can of Root Beer (my server Rosanne brought a glassful of ice, which I discovered was real important since the root beer wasn't refrigerated.), my gaze was transfixed on the widescreen theatre display which was playing Adam Sandler's "50 First Dates". More people entered the restaurant and ordered, with some opting for the buffet while others had to have the big sandwiches.
When Rosanne brought out that huge burger, I just stopped and gasped - wow! This certainly seemed like more than the half-pound of meat they claimed was in there. It was a bacon cheeseburger and when I took my first bite, it struck me that the burger was bland. It was very lean, almost too lean. It had romaine lettuce, pickles, lettuce, a little mayo on the top bun and on the bottom, a dash of catsup. The cheese slice was American processed, and on top of the meat, it looked woefully inadequate. I would have added more cheese (even a selection of cheeses). There were two pieces of bacon, which tasted good (they were lean, flavorful, and not greasy), however, for this burger, they were dwarfed by the humongous beef patty. I'd have put two more or even three more pieces on this sandwich.
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