June 23, 2006, Volume 6 Number 25
Dear " Guam Food Guy" Reader,
I want to thank you for your patience as I work through what has been a week of serious technical challenges both with hardware and internet access. It must be a sign of the times. This week's newsletter includes part of the Guamdiner Bytes intended for last week that never made it. Truth be known, I have enough collected material to last for 4 more issues - there's been a lot of good eating, folks! There are also some very significant developments happening on the island restaurant scene that'll excite those who've been waiting for a few of the nation's top restaurant chains to finally discover Guam. Stay tuned for some major announcements!
In the meantime, lets eat!
Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"
* K57 "Tourism & You"- Guam Food Guy Show Saturday June 24 10 am-Noon
1st Hour: Representatives from the DPH&SS discuss the Guam Pandemic Influenza Plan.
2nd Hour: Representatives from the Guam Marriott to discuss the "Dine & Ride" Manhattan Steakhouse Promotion. Listeners are welcome to call and join in on the conversation by calling 477-5700 or *57 on your cell phone.
* Le Tasi Bistro will be closed for their annual summer holiday during the month of July. The restaurant will re-open on August 1. Now might be a good time to get down there and enjoy some of Bertrand and Mari Carmen's fine fare to hold you over until they return!
DINE & RIDE AT MANHATTAN STEAKHOUSE
Win a Harley Davidson Motorcycle in the "Dine & Ride" Manhattan Steakhouse Promotion running June 12 to August 31. With every food purchase of $30 (net) at the Marriott's Manhattan Steakhouse, you get a chance to win a Harley Davidson XL883C [pictured above] or assorted prizes that include a two-night stay in an ocean view suite, or $100 Manhattan Dinner certificates, and more. This is an exciting and fun way to enjoy delicious food with a chance to win a world-class cycling experience.
PAPPAS BAR-B-Q - FOR THAT TASTE OF REAL TEXAS!
It was a meal to remember! It was in Humble, Texas (just outside of Houston), where I was joined by brothers Bruce, Lee, Carl and my nephew, Kevin on a trek to satisfy our mass craving for genuine Texas BBQ. Since Carl is the only Texas resident, we followed him to Pappas Bar B-Q, right off Hwy. 59, where we indulged in what could simply be described as "BBQ Fever". Pappa's has 10 locations in the Houston and Dallas areas, and has been slow-cooking Bar-B-Q since 1967.
I was overwhelmed when I entered, since the menu seemed to have everything imaginable that could be barbecued. I wanted to get a fair sampling of cooked meats, so I ordered the House Special which came with Beef Brisket, Pork Ribs, Ham and Link Sausage ($10.25.) This included a choice of two sides. You choose from Bar-B-Q Beans, Cole Slaw, Potato Salad, Cajun Rice, and Cucumber Salad. I needed more than just two, so I paid extra for the cole slaw to join my beans and potato salad. You can also get as much white bread, raw onion slices, pickles, jalapenos, and barbecue sauce as you want. This is the ultimate food combination of tasty ways to "accessorize your meats!"
To add to my four-meat selection, I ordered a half pound of Chicken ($5.45), and a half pound of Beef Ribs ($4.95). I had so much food I needed two trays! The chicken was superb - smoked and slow cooked to a perfect tenderness, so moist that it fell off the bone. All the meat has that pinkish-red tint from smoking, and you can taste it! The pork ribs were also fantastic, as was the beef brisket and sausage. The beef ribs were a bit over-done, but still had a great flavor with the sauce really caramelized on these. I didn't need to eat all of this...I just wanted to sample and actually took most of it home to share with other family members. Overall , this was some of the best Texas -style Bar-B-Q that I can remember having. If you are in Humble, call (281) 893-5711. Let me know how the Peach Cobbler, Pecan Pie and Jumbo Cheesecake are...I didn't have the room to try 'em!
ISLAND BAR B.Q. IN TUMON
Speaking of barbecue, there's a new breed of this tasty food tradition being served in the heart of Tumon. In fact, it's a new kind of food that combines Korean and Chamorro, and the owners of Island Bar B.Q. have created what they call "Kamorro" food. If you've lived on Guam for a while, you'll certainly understand why Korean-spiced and flavored foods have become local staples, a fact which explains why folks are attracted to Island Bar B.Q., a little container converted into a food stall with a canopy and outdoor seating, and a view directly overlooking San Vitores Road and SandCastle.
Owned by George Taylor and his wife, Young, a 26-year resident of Guam who was born in Korea, it is Young's passion for Chamorro and Korean food that arranged this perfect culinary marriage. They have daily lunch specials ranging from $4.50 to $6.50. Choice include Beef Tinak Tak, Kalbi, Special Meatloaf, Fish Escabechae, Fried Pork Chop, BBQ Chicken, Chop Chae and Hot Wings.
I had a good tasting Chicken Shishkabob ($2/stick) that was meatier than most. According to a regular customer, the Spicy Lumpia are also a hit at $5 for three large rolls. In true fusion fashion, the finadene also has a different taste seeming just a bit sweeter and softer. The portions for the lunch specials are huge and include salad, rice, and chicken kelaguen. I have to go down and try their Hot & Spicy Ramen and the newly introduced Bulgogi Burger, which is priced at $4.50 including fries. For take-out and information, call 483-4227. They are open 10am-10pm Monday-Friday and 4-10pm on Saturday and Sunday, and offer take-out.
HARD ROCK CAFE GUAM USA INTRODUCES THE CHAMORRO BURGER
The Hard Rock Cafe franchisee for Guam & Saipan has created a new addition to their menu that's sure to please local appetites - the Chamorro Burger! This unique tasting burger is being launched as a tribute to the Chamorro culture and is an indication of HRC's commitment to the local market. I recently attended a media tasting event and had the opportunity to consume one of these spicy 'pika' burgers created by Executive Chef Kotwal Singh and his culinary team.
The Chamorro Burger is an 8 oz, hand-made patty using 100% premium beef blended with several spices and seasonings including cumin, hickory smoke, hoisin sauce, and, its most acclaimed component, Hormel's 'Hot & Spicy' SPAM. As with the regular HRC burgers, the Chamorro Burger can be ordered plain, with cheese and/or bacon, mushrooms, grilled onions or HRC's homemade guacamole. The pricing ranges from $9.50-$12, so it's a premium burger.
How does it taste? It is certainly one of the most intriguing burgers I've eaten since you really can't tell what the ingredients are at first bite. I'm positive it'll be a hit with the local and visitor markets since it's a large and flavorful taste sensation with a name that celebrates and acknowledges our island. The Chamorro Burger should be featured on HRC Guam & Saipan's menus fairly soon.
VITALE'S ADDS TO MENU
Vitale's Italian Restaurant will be adding some new entrees to its menu. We were especially excited to be among the first to try out Vitale's new Carbonara Pasta, which had loads of delicious bacon and was prepared with two possible variations. The first with a whole egg poached atop the fettuccine, and the second with the egg blended in with the pasta. The entree comes with Vitale's famous garlic bread and will probably be priced about $12.50. Another item being added to the menu is a Calzone. And, I can't say enough about how wonderful Vitale's submarine sandwiches are. You can't go wrong with the King featuring Pepperoni, Ham, Mushrooms, and Sausage for $6.95 or the Michigan, which has Ham, Pepperoni, Mushroom, Meatball and Cheese for the same price.
PIETRO'S SAVORY SALADS WITH APPETIZERS MAKE A MEAL
We stopped into Pietro's the other night for a light dinner and to check out the newly-reopened Nature Gallery in the Acanta Mall, one of my favorite places to enjoy the arts of nature!
We ordered two salads, the Roast Beef Salad ($9.75) and the Shrimp, Tomato & Asparagus Salad ($9.95), along with an order of the Garlic Bread ($2.50), Bruschetta ($2.95) and an order of a 'heavy' appetizer, Pietro Spareribs ($9.95).
Both salads are marvelous green creations, with generous use of red onions. The beef has a creamy garlic sauce with an ample portion of sliced roast beef. The dressing on the shrimp salad is another Pietro classic vinaigrette, and the salad is filled with shrimp, crunchy asparagus spears, and sprinkled with herbs.
I ordered the Spareribs specifically for Zee to try these since I so enjoyed them during my original review. They are among the meatiest ribs that are served and are so tender they fall right off the bone yet retain their unique pork flavor. The bruschetta is okay and could be improved by adding more tomato topping to the bread. On a very positive note, their service has notably improved since opening and it's clear they've been working on it.
NEW WAYS TO EAT CHAMORRO FOOD
We're always trying to find new ways to eat food, and sometimes it's the accidental combining of disparate ingredients that creates an unexpectedly delicious taste. That is precisely what happened the other night at Y Kusina.
We had ordered Tamales Gisu as an appetizer and a Chamorro Fast Food item that caught Zee's eye - Chorizos Pakpak ($11.95) served with rice, corn or pork & beans. I'd ordered the Fried Chicken dinner ($15.95), which comes with rice and salad which comes with Y Kusina's fabulous trademark salad dressing. (Important note: Locals receive a 25% discount on the dinner menu.) The food combining came into play when Zee added some of the finadene dinanche to her pork and beans. I tried this as I had been alternately dipping my chicken in the lemon finadene and in the finadene dinanche. I have to admit, those beans became something totally awesome. Even Y Kusina's general manager, Randy Cepeda, said he was surprised to hear about this combination and would try it out himself.
I guess this is enough for this week, right? See you next week for more!
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