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February 3, 2006, Volume 6 Number 5


Dear " Guam Food Guy" Reader,

It's February already and I can tell that Cupid's busily tightening the strings on his bow and sharpening the arrows in his quiver - oh, where will those arrows fall? Of course we know they all fall in love, and that's what makes Valentine's Day so special for all of us romantics! Guam's restaurants will be putting on their finest show for loving couples to share a delectable dinner with a favorite bottle of wine or champagne. We'll be busy this next week posting Valentine Specials on our home page. There will also be a special Valentine's Edition of K-57's Tourism & You Food Guy Segment on February 11, so plan to listen in to hear what some of the island's romantic destinations have awaiting our island's love-birds.

I want to correct an error I made in last week's newsletter. I meant to say that the Pacific Grill was opening soon. They opened on February 1 and my error was calling them Pacific Cafe instead of Pacific Grill. My apologies for any confusion.

Thank you to the Chinese Merchant's Association for sprucing up the Chinese Park in Tamuning which is on the oceanside of Marine Corps Drive across from Foremost. This has always been one of the best kept secrets for people wanting to spend some relaxing time contemplating the view that overlooks all of Tumon Bay below. It's almost directly in line with the new Fiesta Resort Guam. It's a grand sight! One certainly feels a sense of reverence when standing in front of the statue of Chinese philosopher Confucius. Guam is blessed to have such a strong and active Chinese community as part of the island's ethnic mix. We are still celebrating Chinese New Year as tradition dictates that the celebration lasts 15 days, so remember to say "Kung Hee Fat Choy!" when you're eating Chinese for the next several days!

Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"

In Today's Issue:

  • Valentine's Specials - Offerings from Our Restaurant Subscribers
  • Guam Jazz LIVE Series with Larry Franquez Feb 11-26 SandCastle's Manhattan Bar
  • 5th Annual UOGEF/MCA Celebrity Chef's Cup Competition Slated For March 24
  • Wing's Chinese Restaurant Returns with New $5 Menu
  • This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner Newsletter
  • Around the Island - Duangdee Thai's $8.95 Wednesday Buffet Special, ONE Restaurant's Affordable Korean, Fiesta Resort's Special February Promotions
  • Vitale's Italian Ristorante - For Food That's Amore!!

Valentine's Specials - Offerings from Our Restaurant Subscribers

We have in hand a few of the expected Valentine's Specials from our Restaurant Subscribers and they are good ones. Reservations are strongly recommended for all of these dinners as Valentine's is second only to Mother's Day when it comes to the number of people who dine out.

Nana's Cafe - This romantic right-on-the-beach cafe is offering a special Valentine's Menu for $32 per person (plus 10% sc) which features a full seafood and salad bar along with your choice of entree and Chef Kishimoto's Chocolate Menage et Tois dessert with Chocolate Mousse, Chocolate Pudding and Chocolate Truffles. Call 646-7803 Ext. 378 or 312 for reservations.

Palm Cafe - The elegantly modern flagship restaurant of the Outrigger Guam has a special "Heart Break Valentine's Buffet" that offers a lavish spread of their famous buffet items including King Crab. The price of $29.95/adults and $16.95/children (plus 10% sc) includes bottomless Heineken and Beringer White Zinfandel Sparkling Wine. Call 649-7900 for reservations.

Sereno's - Does the thought of romance bring Italian to mind? If so, you want to make a reservation at Sereno's Italian Ristorante for Valentine's Day. In addition to the fabulous view of Tumon, you will enjoy a menu the includes your choice of appetizer, entree and a dessert of White Chocolate Raspberry Creme Brulee Tartlets. The price of $125 per couple include, get this, a Gift Certificate for a 30-minute massage at The Mandara Spa at the Ohana Bayview! Call 646-2300 for reservations.

Guam Jazz LIVE Series with Larry Franquez Feb 11-26 SandCastle's Manhattan Bar

After living and performing as a headliner and sideman in New York City, drummer Larry Franquez returns home to lead an 8-week jazz series at the Manhattan Bar in the Sand Castle. The line-up will include Ankie Franquez, Forest Harris, Louie Gombar, Carlos Laguana, Patrick Palomo, Jimmy Nabong, Mike DiAmore, Dante Trinidad, Lawrence Laguana, Joey Franquez and Rick Zimmerman.

Some of Larry's most noted musical conversations have been with the likes of George Benson; Dr. Lonnie Smith; Benny Powell, trombonist for the original Count Basie Orchestra; Tom Harrell; David Hopkins; Jerry Weldon, saxophonist with Harry Connick Jr.; Danny Mixon, pianist for the late Betty Carter and T.K. Blue, musical arranger for Randy Weston.

Don't miss out on this rare opportunity starting February 11 every Saturday and Sunday from 7:30-10pm, Manhattan Bar Sand Castle, $10 Cover Charge includes two shows. Please call Sand Castle at 649-7263 for information.

February 11 with: Dante Trinidad, Mike DiAmore & Carlos Laguana
February 12 with: Patrick Palomo, Mike DiAmore & Carlos Laguana
February 18 with: Rick Zimmerman, Mike DiAmore & Carlos Laguana
February 19 with: Jimmy Nabong, Mike DiAmore & Carlos Laguana
February 25 with: Ankie Franquez, Forest Harris, Louie Gombar, Joey Franquez & Carlos Laguana
February 26 with: Patrick Palomo & Lawrence Laguana

5th Annual UOGEF/MCA Celebrity Chef's Cup Competition Slated For March 24

The University of Guam Endowment Foundation in collaboration with the Micronesian Chefs' Association (MCA) have set March 24 as the date for the most exciting culinary event of the year, the UOGEF/MCA Celebrity Chef's Cup Competition, to be held at the Hyatt Regency Guam.

Outrigger Guam Resort & Spa's Executive Chef Chris Aguilar, last year's champion, will be defending his title against four as-of-yet unselected chefs. The Chef Drawing date is scheduled for Feb 7th with the menu selection to be established by Feb 13th. A press release will be released after Feb 18 detailing all of the competitors, course selections, and the Celebrity team pairings. Stay tuned for more information on getting tickets for this yearly culinary extravaganza.

Wing's Chinese Restaurant Returns with New $5 Menu

Kung Hee Fat Choy!! Listen up! For those of you who don't know, Jane Chen is back on island and has re-acquired Wing's Chinese Restaurant in Tamuning. Wing's is located between the Guam Airport Hotel and the Airport Mobil station. Wing's has always been known as a low-cost home-style Chinese restaurant. As a welcome back special offer, Jane has created a new menu that has everything priced at FIVE DOLLARS!

There are 42 entrees, from Yang Chow Fried Rice, Egg Fu Yung, Braised Tofu with Mixed Vegetables, Hot & Sour Soup, to Salt & Pepper Shrimp, Pancit Bihon, Crispy Fried Chicken and Ham Hock w/Mung Beans. The $5 entree price applies to both lunch and dinner (business hours are Mon-Sat 10:30am-2:30pm for lunch; 5:30-10pm for dinner. Sunday it's dinner-only from 5:30-10:00pm). Moreover, Jane has recently taken over the Oriental Kitchen in Chamorro Village and re-named it Jane's Oriental Cuisine. Call Wing's for take-out or to order special party trays at 646-9887.

This Time Last Year - Highlights from the Guamdiner Newsletter

Feb 4, 2005 Vol 5 No 5

Restaurant Reviewed: Planet Hollywood's Seafood Festival - Set Menu Abounds with Seafood Choices

Highlights:
Adios, Alvin Duenas - Former Jaycee Leader Passes On
Dr. Sheih's New Website Has Health Care News & Information

Around the Island - Duangdee Thai's $8.95 Wednesday Buffet Special, ONE Restaurant's Affordable Korean, Fiesta Resort's Special February Promotions

If you like Thai food, chances are you'll be pleasantly surprised by the cuisine at Duangdee Thai Restaurant, located next to Cost-U-Less in Tamuning. You'll be delighted even before you eat once you see that Duangdee is one of the prettiest and cleanest of Thai Restaurants...it's an elegant, calming place to sit and await to be served some fairly decent Thai cuisine. I had a bowl of the deliciously rich Red Curry with Chicken ($8.99) for lunch today. Also, Duangdee's beautiful owner, Arawan Chairid, is launching a special $8.95 Lunch Buffet every Wednesday, and will be serving five different entrees. Make it a point to try Duangdee Thai. They are open for lunch from 11am to 2:30pm Mon-Sat, and from 5-10pm for dinner every night. Call 646-9779 for take-out orders and to reserve for large parties.

Although it's safe to say you've been to many restaurants, it's quite possible you've not yet been to ONE Restaurant, located in Young's Plaza in Tamuning, near Pub Chicago and Haruna Restaurant across from St. John's. ONE Restaurant serves Korean cuisine, and it's still relatively new to Guam's dining scene. I popped in the other day for a look-see and found out that they have an affordably-priced menu, featuring such items as Aged Soy Bean Stew, Hot Spicy Soup, Soft Tofu Stew ($10 for each of these), Hot Tofu Soup ($7.50), and Korean Chop Suey ($7.50), among other things. It's a quiet place that's open for business during from 11am-10pm Mon-Sat, closed on Sundays. Call 649-1123 or stop by and look for Mr. Lee. I'm sure you'll find the restaurant pleasant and the food to tasty.

Fiesta Resort Guam's World Cafe has a special February promotion for local residents and military personnel, entitling guests to a 20% discount on their $12.95 Daily Lunch Buffet. Additionally, the price of the Sunday Brunch has been reduced from $28.95/person to $25 (plus 10% sc). These promotions are applicable for groups of less than 20 people. For reservations, call the F&B Department at 646-5881, ext. 1700 or 1811.

Vitale's Italian Ristorante - For Food That's Amore!!

It's been almost four years since my last review of Vitale's Italian Ristorante, located on the second floor of Tumon's Plaza Arcade next to SandCastle and directly above the 7-11 adjacent to Bully's. Before I go any further, I need to remind you that "genuino" is the Italian word for genuine, which means you get the real deal when it comes to Italian cuisine here. Vitale's owner, Joseph Vitale founded Vitale's Pizza Queen in 1992, which at the time was an immensely popular restaurant with the best take-out pizzas available on Guam and then in 1996 he opened Vitale's Italian Ristorante.

The food at Vitale's is what would be considered traditional American-Italian favorites, like the kind of Italian food you'd get in the Michigan suburbs where Joseph founded his original Vitale's Ristorante in 1967. Joseph's extensive menu is developed from authentic old country recipes, so you can get different pasta selections ranging from Manicotti, Lasagna, Mostaccioli, Tortellini, Spaghetti, and Fettuccine Alfredo, to Cannoloni and Ravioli. You can also find Veal Parmigiana, Eggplant Parmigiana, Chicken Parmigiana, and Linguine Clam.

When we entered Vitale's for dinner the other night, we were astonished by the large number of tourists who filled the room. It must have been good timing, for as we entered the only table in the non-smoking section was just being vacated. While we waited for the table to be cleaned we glanced at the attractively layed out menus and ordered our choices, starting with two appetizers, Green Salad ($6.95) and a bowl of Minestrone Soup ($5.50). To this, we added a new menu item called "Tour of Italy" ($14.95) which had a sampling of Lasagna, Chicken Parmigiana, and Fettuccine Alfredo in a special white sauce. This came with a basket of Garlic Bread. The final dish was a 10" Small Deluxe Pizza ($16.50) with Cheese, Ham, Onions, Pepperoni, Sausage, Green Pepper, and Mushrooms.

Since my dining partner Zee is on a special diet that has her eating a special home-made vegetable soup, she was only able to eat the salad and the soup, whilst I had the task of having to eat everything else! The salad was a bit of a disappointment, since the hearts of iceberg lettuce seemed to dominate a salad that had tomatoes, black olives, canned mushrooms, white onions, and cucumbers, all drizzled with an Italian Vinaigrette that was more vinegar than oil. As you might surmise, the bitterness of the hearts undermined the sweet expectation one has when eating green romaine or even green iceberg lettuce. To me, though, being more stoic, I felt the salad challenged my palate. It was certainly fresh and crisp, once the cucumbers kicked in.

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Buon appetito!

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