May 11, 2006, Volume 6 Number 19
Dear " Guam Food Guy" Reader,
May is turning out to be a milestone in dining for me. It seems that there are more restaurants than ever before and I find myself playing catch up! Our idea to change the format of one week's newsletter from a major review into the "Diner Bytes" round-up has received positive comments from readers. The "Bytes" allow us to share more dining experiences in one week and include more food photos, which in themselves are worth the proverbial "thousand words!"
Speaking of photos, I couldn't help but share a picture I took of a herd of carabao I saw recently congregating outside of Tamuning's Guam Premier Outlets. These carabao are somewhat different than the living and breathing carabao most of us are used to seeing on island. These are made of fiberglass, with each appearing is different positions. I understand that they are part of a project started by Jennifer Hua Ada who is opening an art gallery in Hagatna this month. Jennifer has partnered with Monte Mesa, GPO's President, in this endeavor which imported these carabao from Vietnam with the intent of selling them to businesses and organizations, who will then be responsible for soliciting local artists to custom-paint them. The concept, called Carab-Art, was inspired by similar colorful animal statue projects in major U.S. cities. These will be attractions that can be enjoyed by both visitors and local residents.
One of the free attractions that everyone really enjoys about Guam are the stunningly beautiful sunsets we have, especially this time of year! Just amazing hues and colors fill the horizon!
Mother's Day is almost here so if you haven't made reservations, check out the list of specials from our beloved Restaurant Subscribers.
Happy Mother's Day to all the moms in our world. May you celebrate this day in style, with great food and lots of family love!
Ken, The "Guam Food Guy"
DINING ROUND UP FROM TUMON TO IPAN
STEAKS & SHAKES
Steaks & Shakes, located in Upper Tumon next to Avis Rent A Car and just across from K-Mart and JFK, has opened up for business and are now serving a menu filled with good old-fashioned American chow, including burgers, hoagies, Deli sandwiches, Salads, and that classic favorite from America's Liberty Bell city, the Philly Cheese Steak sandwich! I ordered a 6" Cheese Steak for $4.99 (12" $8.99). It comes with onions, ketchup, salt & pepper, on a roll that's fresh baked from their oven. The sandwich was awesome...overflowing with sliced, tender beef that was bound together by melted cheese and onions. It's the best Philly Steak sandwich I've had on island!
I also ordered a BLT ($3.59) with all the classic ingredients on toasted American bread. Though the sandwich had all the flavors going for it, I'd have been happier with a little more bacon and would even pay a little more for it!
I couldn't resist indulging in a Chocolate Milk Shake ($3.59), that co-owner, Bill Yager made for me with Dreyer's Ice Cream - he added a little chocolate syrup and I was in heaven! Jennifer Porter is the other partner in this enterprise and she spends much of her time in front of the grill making magic. Steaks & Shakes is still new so they are working on getting everything up to speed...they've done well, so far.
They offer breakfast for early risers Monday to Friday, opening at 6am. They open at 10am on Saturday and Sunday and are open until 8pm daily. They have inside dining as well as seating on an outside patio deck, with an intriguing novelty gift shop run by Tropical Living. Free Delivery with a $20 minimum order is available in a limited delivery area, and only during two-hour lunch and dinner periods. Call for take-out (allow 10 minutes) at 649-4555. They accept Visa & MasterCard, along with Traveler's Checks. Steaks & Shakes is going to make a lot of people happy, with their value-priced menu of excellent eats. Parking may be their only challenge. GFG Rating: Two Thumbs Up
JEFF'S PIRATES COVE
One place that everyone loves to visit is Jeff's Pirates Cove, located on the shores of Ipan, Talofofo. Jeff's is fun for the entire family, with a gift shop, seaside museum filled with interesting maritime artifacts, lots of beachfront grounds for walking and hiking, a ship-shaped bar, and a full-service restaurant that serves American, Chamorro, and Greek foods - a rare and satisfying combination! Jeff's also is known for its collection of artifacts and memorabilia on the life and times of Sgt. Shoichi Yokoi, a WWII straggler who served in the Imperial Japanese Army and hid in Guam's jungles for 28 years before emerging in 1973!
On our latest visit to Jeff's we ordered Deep Fried Fish Sandwich ($9) and Jeff's Famous Homemade Cheeseburger ($9). This big sandwich has half a pound of lean ground beef that's blended with Jeff's secret seasonings, and two, yes two!, slices of cheddar cheese. It's a burger to be proud of and when you want to go American, it's one sure way to take you there!
Jeff's Kelaguens are renowned, and many (including moi), will order Jeff's Chamorro Fiesta Plate. The Greek menu has Greek Salad, Gyros, Kalamaki, Kebaps, and Spanakopita, among other treats.
While there, I was thrilled to be able to capture a picture of Jeff's owner and namesake, Jeff Pleadwell, driving his tractor pulled train full of tourists called "Rock'n & Roll'n", up and around his beach trail. Come on down to Jeff's where you can eat a little and love a lot! GFG Rating: Guam Diner Classic
LE TASI BISTRO
If you are in for adventurous dining and don't want to eat a heavy meal that will leave you stuffed, consider going to Le Tasi Bistro located on the ground floor of the New Marina Hotel in Hagatna. This French bistro had the right answer for us one Friday night when we wanted to eat a variety of dishes rather than the usual three-course meal.
We ordered side Caesar salads, an order of the Gambas Pil Pil, those luscious hot sizzling chili shrimp with garlic ($6.95); Crostini de Champignons, garlic mushrooms over warm crusty country bread topped with Swiss cheese ($5.50); and the savory Bruschetta Con Tomate e Basilica which is such a savory treat of the same toasted bread topped with a glorious blend of roasted garlic, fresh tomato and basil ($5.50). I don't know how they do it, but the flavors of this combination explode on your palate, with the fresh tomato picking up the taste of sweet fragrant basil.
Newly introduced to the dinner menu is the Pate de Campagne, which is a homemade pate served with toast ($7.50). This rich dish comes with two sweet jerkins that offer crunchy companionship to the soft creaminess of the pate. This night the pate was made with a duck mousse rather than the traditional pork. All said, we ate a variety that satisfied our many cravings. Of course, if you desire a heartier meal, may I recommend their Rack of Lamb - its' divine! GFG Rating: Guam Diner Classic
Looking for great Thai? Try Pattaya, located in Tamuning just down the street from Alupang Beach Tower in the direction of Mark's Sporting Goods, Buddies Billiards, and UriJip Korean BBQ. Pattaya's menu accentuates the words "Authentic Thai Food" and it speaks the truth. I'd say Pattaya has the most authentic Thai cuisine I've eaten, and I've been joined by a few other "foodies" who concur. Pattaya is owned by Pim Sonepoo, the legendary owner of Pim's Place. At Pattaya, she cooks each dish to order.
The "Yum Nua" Beef Salad ($7) is a zesty, flavor-laden combination of sliced grilled beef, red onion, green onion, fresh mint, cilantro, and spices, drenched in lime juice. This comes with fresh lettuce, long green beans, and sliced cucumber. You can roll up pieces of the beef mixture inside a lettuce leaf with beans, then bite your way to bliss.
Our second dish was the Pad Bai Kraprod($7.00), which I ordered "Thai Style", with a fried egg atop the ground pork stir-fried with garlic long beans mushrooms, chili, and fresh basil.
The third entree we had was the Drunk Noodles ($7), made with chicken, though you can get it with pork. This is an unusual dish made with flat noodles, egg, peppers, onions, mushroom, chicken pieces, tomatoes and chilis. It was a nice change from the usual noodle favorite, Pad Thai. I don't know where the name "drunk" is derived, as there's no alcohol involved.
We talked to Justin, Pim's son, who suggested we try the Spicy Coconut "Tom Ka Kai" Soup ($7), and the flavors simply overwhelmed in a wonderful way! The lemongrass and "Kha Thai" or galangal (Thai ginger), are blended in coconut milk and chicken...it's a world of taste in the bowl.
Then we had a splendid surprise for dessert, Khao Neow Ma-Muang or Sweet Sticky Rice with Mango, a favorite Thai dessert. It was so irresistibly good that I ate it all despite being full from dinner. Pim remarked that it's hard to find a consistent selection of ripe mangoes, so this dessert is not always available. Order it if it's available! Another special dessert on the menu was Banana with Coconut Milk ($2), which had local bananas simmered in coconut milk. It is all so good!
Pattaya is open for lunch Mon-Sat from 11am-2:30pm, and for dinner daily from 4:30-10:30pm. Call 647-7467 for take-out, if you're in a hurry, or just come in and sit down to relax and enjoy a memorable culinary excursion into authentic Thai cuisine. GFG Rating: Two Thumbs and Two Toes Up
And to round out our culinary tour, here's something special we had at May's Restaurant in Tamuning across from GPO in the Kim Chee Complex, adjacent to Pacific Tyre.
Though we've usually eat her fabulous Won Ton Soup, Yang Chow Fried Rice, Steamed Lapu Lapu with Ginger and Green Onions, and succulent Roast Duck, we tried something suggested by May Li - Stir Fry Beef Steak with Szechwan Sauce ($13). This is a hearty and spicy entree, with a good-sized portion of tender steak chunks blended with sweet onions and a pepper-spiced gravy that you just wanted to keep eating. Not on the menu, this dish will be featured as a Mother's Day Special this coming Sunday! Call May's at 647-3288 for take-out. GFG Rating: Guam Diner Classic
You can find Guam Food Guy links and reviews at the following sites: