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February 10, 2006, Volume 6 Number 6


Dear " Guam Food Guy" Reader,

When I heard that the visiting 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit would be holding "Marine Day" at Asan Park, I was compelled to make the trip down Marine Corps Drive to see the displays of vehicles, weapon systems, armaments, and helicopters. It was certainly worth it, though I wish more people could have been able to attend. I enjoyed the opportunity to talk with a few of the young Marines. All of them had really positive impressions about Guam and about the terrific hospitality they were receiving...they felt like heroes, and were fed like kings!

I noticed how they relished the fiesta BBQ plates they were served. There were four helicopters that were literally open for touring inside. Young kids and adults were able to hold rifles and grenade launchers...it was really a spectacle watching young women turn the wheel of a large canon (heavy artillery). It was also very sobering to get a close-up look at the armored vehicles as well as the helicopters. These are the same vehicles and choppers used in Iraq and Afghanistan, the ones we see on the news. I quickly got a sense of just how fragile life is and how fortunate we are to have such dedicated, well-trained young people who are willing to give up their lives to protect our freedoms.

Another thing that impressed me that day was the ROTC unit from Guam South High School, who were undergoing a field inspection. Watching these young high school students march in formation, stand at attention, and respond to commands was a source of enormous pride for me. Kudos to John Gerber and the Guam Chamber of Commerce's Armed Forces Committee for organizing the mini-fiestas for the visiting Marines...one thing we can all be proud of is that fact that every single visiting Marine could honestly say that their stay on Guam left a great taste in their mouth! We know they'll be back for more!

Ken, the Guam Food Guy

In Today's Issue:

K57 "Tourism & You" GFG Program Previews Valentine's Specials Sat Feb 11, 10am

Listen up this Saturday morning for the Guam Food Guy's segment of K57's "Tourism & You" Show, from 10am-12 noon. This week's guests are members from some of the island's hotels and restaurants who will give us a preview of their Valentine's Day specials. Included in our line-up will be the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa, Guam Plaza, The Outrigger Guam Resort, Le Tasi Bistro, and the Guam Marriott Resort & Spa. If you've not yet decided on your Valentine's Day plans, this program may help you in making your choice.

Cafe Explosion in Hagatna - New Eateries Expand Selection for Diners

Can you believe what's been happening in Hagatna lately? And, I mean with cafe's and restaurants! Opening this past week or so has been The Buzz Cafe, located next to the Pacific News Building, across the street from the Cathedral and down the sidewalk from Carmen's Mexican Cha Cha Cha. This is a really cool place that has some interesting salads, sandwiches, espresso drinks, and other beverages.

Another new place is called The Crossroads Cafe, located on Soledad Avenue, across from the Bank of Guam HQ's in the same spot that used to house the Downtown Deli. Crossroads also has espresso and other beverages including great prices on Corona and Heineken ($2). They also offer sandwiches, soups, and pastas. Both establishments are creative, well-constructed, and have visionary leaders who are here to make a name for themselves. I think both will develop followings.

Yet another Hagatna cafe is the second location of Lori Tydingco's Brown Bag Cafe, which is in the Cathedral itself. Brown Bag's primary emphasis is on healthier fare. It's really exciting seeing the incremental improvement of Guam's culinary offerings. It's also great to see the enthusiasm of these young entrepreneurs as they work to carve out a niche for themselves. Definitely exciting times for all of us!

Valentine's Specials - More Choices and Great Places for Romance

There are so many Valentine's Specials posted at the site now, we simply can't list all of them here individually. Just click on this link and take your pick of the ones that appeal to you and your sweetheart. Whether your taste runs to French, Italian, Indian, Surf & Turf or Contemporary American fare, you will find something that will make romance blossom for you and yours this Valentine's Day!

Din Tai Fong's Dim Sum Magic

The other night we had a chance to eat dinner at Din Tai Fong Chinese Restaurant - remember the October 2004 review? Located across from the Reef Hotel and next to the 7-11, this spot has only gotten better as more and more residents have made this one of their favorite dining spots. Although Din Tai Fong is best known for dim sum offerings served for both lunch and dinner, they also have an extensive a la carte menu. One dish that caught my attention was the Egg Fu Yong with Crabmeat ($12). This was an excellent preparation, which blended egg, crab, green onions, shiitake mushrooms, ginger, carrots,and red peppers. The other non dim sum entree I ordered was the Crispy Fried Chicken ($8.50). This was a sizable amount of savory chicken that was cut-up for easy eating. Our dim sum selections (most priced at $3) included Shrimp Shiu Mai, Shrimp Dumpling, Spareribs with Black Bean Sauce, Chicken Feet, Din Tai Fong Pork Dumpling, and Crystal Dumpling with Meat and Chive ($4). It was good to once again blend my dipping sauces using fresh ginger strips mixed with vinegar, soy sauce and red chili paste. Call 646-7813 for more information.

Rolfing Again - The World's a Better Place Now

It has been some time since I had my last Rolfing session. This was due in part to Pat Pexa's being off -island for a family emergency, and also due to my having been under a lot of weather for a few weeks. I was certainly relieved to have my recent Rolfing experience...I could really feel the difference in my flexibility and general well-being. In an earlier newsletter I wrote about my Rolfing experience, and how I had embarked on a series of Rolfing Sessions. For those who don't know, Rolfing is a series of ten sessions that are designed to help the body align itself within the gravitational field. It is quite different than massage, with which it is often confused since it does involve the use of hands on the body. Rolfing is more involved than massage, since it works with the body's connective tissue or fascia. The fascia is the thin elastic semi-fluid membrane that covers the muscles, bones, nerves, blood vessels, and body organs.

One area where rolfing may help your organization is in the downtime incurred when an employee has a Repetitive Motion Injury, such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Rolfing has shown that it can decrease the RMI injury claims and put people back to work once treated. If you, or anyone you know, has had a sports, auto, work, or personal accident injury, Rolfing may provide an effective solution to your pain. Rolfing is provided locally by Pat Pexa, who is a certified Rolfer. You can contact Pat 687-PEXA (7392) or e-mail her at ppexa@guam.net. For more information on Rolfing, visit the Rolf Institute website.

This Time Last Year - Highlights from the Guamdiner Newsletter

Feb 11, 2005 Vol 5 No 6

Restaurants Reviewed: Where to Eat in Hawaii - A Round Up of the Best Meals of 2004

Highlights:
Hawaii's Farmer's Markets - Great Places to Get Local Produce and Products

Around the Island - Y Kusina Sunday Brunch Returns, Le Tasi Bistro Swordfish, Kaveh Kanes, Curry Kebab Dinner Special

There are going to be a lot of happy people when they hear that Y Kusina is reinstating their Chamorro Sunday Brunch starting this weekend. I consider it a Culinary Valentine's present to the island! There isn't a better selection of authentic Chamorro cuisine served at a restaurant than what the Cepeda family puts out on their Sunday Brunch Chamorro buffet spread. Among the local favorites you can expect to find in their buffet line are dried meat, breadfruit and oxtail in coconut milk, broiled eggplant in coconut, shrimp kelaguen, corn and chicken soup, pickled papaya, chamorro sausage, titiyas, and tamales gisu. You may also find items like chopped pork chop and grilled onions, fried chicken, scrambled eggs, salads, vegetables, and even Spam, Bacon, and waffles. There were also about six or seven dessert items including latiya, chocolate and velvet cakes. For reservations, call 646-2052.

Okay, so I was influenced by watching my friend, Jean Lescure, slice into his swordfish and put a small piece into his mouth, which transformed into an approving smile as he talked to me. You, too, can have an approving smile when you dine at Le Tasi Bistro. (See the daily lunch specials here.) By the way, if you don't know Jean, he is a famous French explorer and adventurer, who has tested manufacturer's severe weather gear in the Antarctic...he's been living on Guam for some time now and is married to Jillette Leon Guerrero, former Executive Director of the Guam Humanities Council. The Grilled Swordfish with Garlic Mayonnaise was one of the lunch specials ($11.50) served that day at Le Tasi Bistro. I chose the tomato soup instead of the Caesar salad, and munched through my basket of basil bread rolls. The Banana Cream Pie I had for dessert was even worth the trip to the South Pole, now if I can only get back! Call Le Tasi Bistro for your reservation for their Valentine's Dinner and for either lunch or dinner at 472-7877.

Kaveh Kanes is located in Ladera Towers, Mangilao. Don't let the distance deter you, since they are the only ones on Guam who serve what I discovered to be one of those fantasy beverages - a Blended Green Tea Frappe for $3.50. I've had a lot of things to eat and drink on this island, however, I've never had a Green Tea Frappe. Just sipping it made me feel instantly refreshed and even energized. It seemed to be replacing something that either I was missing or had lost. Kaveh Kanes is certainly worth a stop just to see their variety of iced and hot beverages, sandwiches, and pastries.

The Curry Kebab, located in the Hafa Adai Exchange across Marine Corps Drive from Atkins Kroll and in the same complex that houses the Marianas Trench and Lieng's Vietnamese, has dinner special set menus that offer diners a complete selection of savory Indian cuisine. The other night I had the Tandoor Grilled Jumbo Prawns with Chicken Curry, Naan Bread, Saffron Rice, Chutney, Pappad, and Orange Slices, for $16.99. This was a more than adequate portion for me. Sometimes it's easier to order this set menu than to try to piece together other a la carte menu items. Those prawns are truly "jumbo" and when cooked in that Tandoori oven, they are superb! Be sure to check out The Curry Kebab's Valentine Special Dinner.

Que Huong Vietnamese & Korean Restaurant - Two Cultures Makes Great Cuisine

There are a few instances when I'll do a review on a restaurant that's barely a month old, and this is one of them. Que Huong Vietnamese & Korean Restaurant jumped out at me when I noticed that the 168 Chinese Restaurant in Maite on Rte 8, next to Young Choi's Market, was gone. Que Huong is just north of the Pacific American Title Building and past the road turning into the GovGuam Credit Union. The other thing that grabbed me was their combining Vietnamese and Korean cuisine, which was totally new to me and, to my knowledge, to Guam.

For this lunch time review, I was joined by my friend Vivian Bui, a colleague whose culinary opinion I respect. Vivian's also an excellent cook, and when she and her Vietnamese girlfriends get together to prepare a meal, I certainly feel privileged to be among those invited for their fabulous feasts. Vivian heard me mentioning the restaurant's name and suggested we go and check it out. When we arrived, she immediately noticed George Basile, the owner, and they started chatting away in Vietnamese. It was soon revealed that George, who is half Vietnamese/half Italian, is married to Suzie, who is Korean and does all the Korean cooking while George handles the Vietnamese food selections.

Que Huong's exterior is a little grungy, though no more or less than their neighbors. Once inside, it's quaint, with about 10 tables of differing sizes, an aquarium with living fish, large scenic paintings, and vine-like plants suspended overhead in woven latticework. It's not fancy nor well-funded, but it has one main element important to a restaurant's success, and that is "heart".

Que Huong has $6 Lunch Specials from 11am-3pm, Monday-Saturday. With 15 choices on this Lunch Special Menu there is something for everyone. Local favorites like Fried SpareRibs, Fried Pork Chops, Fried Tilapia, BBQ Chicken & Spam, Chicken Lemongrass, Beef Lemongrass, Chicken Bamboo, and Shrimp Chopsuey are all specials and come with rice; several of them also come with a salad. We ordered Chicken Lemongrass, Special Vietnamese Beef Salad ($10, found under "Stir Fried Dishes"), and Kim Chi Stew ($10). I ordered a Vietnamese Ice Coffee ($3), which turned out to be a real treat, since this is brewed at the table into a glass. The coffee is from Vietnam, it's thick and blended with condensed milk and sugar, then poured over ice. This coffee beverage is strong and has character - be careful not to drink too much; you'll be awake for days! While we waited for our main courses, assorted pan chan dishes were brought out, with kim chi tofu, anchovies with green chilies, radish and garlic stems, kimchi, and beansprouts in sesame oil. Each of these was exceptional!

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Bon appetit!

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