January 12 , 2007, Volume 7 Number 2
Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
If there was one thing I would ask each of you to do it would be to share the GuamDiner newsletter with your family, friends and co-workers. Why? Well, I believe that if the number of people reading our newsletter continues to increase more people would be informed about the restaurants I've already visited and written about, of which there is a quite considerable number. Although I really enjoy sharing my dining experiences with people, I have recently been inundated with questions from people I meet who ask if I've tried new restaurants like Proa, Andaman Western & Thai, and The Blue Plate. Instead of just answering "Yes", I tell them that I have indeed been there and, if I have my binder handy, I show them the newsletters covering that particular establishment. The photos I've taken of Proa, Andaman, and the Blue Plate are superb illustrations that present the dishes pictured quite nicely. Once they see the food photos or building location pictures, they say "Wow"! or "That's where it's at"! That's why I implore people to subscribe to this free newsletter.
A really useful tool for those looking for the latest review or newsletter mention is the GuamDiner.com front page Search Window. Just from keying in such words as "Old Hagatna" or "Tumon Bay Lobster", "Lone Star" or "Garlic House" you will be able to access many articles and references to those establishment. including reviews and menus that are linked to what we call a Diner Page, which is a essentially a mini-web page for the restaurant. The feedback we get from people who have learned how to more effectively use the GuamDiner website as an information resource is very positive and complimentary. The same can be said of our sister site, HawaiiDiner.com, which is an amazing treasure trove of all things culinary in Hawaii including restaurants, chefs, food & beverage products, hospitality personalities, and current events, some of which are communicated in podcasts. We really are proud of the service we provide and are constantly looking for ways to improve our product. We welcome any suggestions you might have that could make our service more useful.
Thank you again for believing and sharing!
Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"
In Today's Issue:
- Cantate Performs "Messiah" Highlights Candlelight Concert - Sat, Jan 13
- Wine & Appetizer G.A.I.N. Fundraiser & Bon Voyage - Old Hagatna Grill Jan 28
- Mark the Date -Spay & Neuter Clinic February 3-10, 2007
- Adios, Buckwheat - GFG Bids Farewell to Close Companion
- This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner.com Newsletter
- Around the Island - OHG New Lunch Menu, Tumon Bay Lobster Bar & Grill, Sichuan Kitchen Saturday Hot Pot Lunch Special
- Linda's Cafe - Venerable Island Diner Just Keeps Going and Going, 24 Hours a Day
Cantate Performs "Messiah" Highlights Candlelight Concert - Sat, Jan 13
You don't want to miss Cantate perform highlights from Handel's Oratorio "Messiah", this Saturday night at St. John's. Doors open at 7:30pm and the concert will begin at 8pm. The orchestra performing with Cantate is said to be the best one ever to accompany the noted choral group. Tickets are available at Faith Book Store and at the door. Adults are $10 and Children (17 years and younger) are $5. For more information, contact Jimmy Santos (734-1289) or Karl Cepeda (477-7376).
Wine & Appetizer G.A.I.N. Fundraiser & Bon Voyage - Old Hagatna Grill Jan 28
On Sunday, January 28, from 6-9pm at Old Hagatna Grill, a special wine and appetizer send off for Dr. Diaz of Isla Veterinary Clinic will be held in conjunction with a silent auction. All silent auction proceeds go to Guam Animals in Need, and a portion of the ticket sales will go to G.A.I.N as well. Any additional donations will be greatly appreciated. Tickets are $75 per person and available at Old Hagatna Grill, Pacific Rim Collections and Hit Radio 100.
Dr. Diaz will be leaving our fair island in February, and she will be sorely missed! She's given so much of her free time and gone beyond the call of duty. It is in this spirit that your attendance is requested. Please join in this Bon Voyage Celebration and G.A.I.N. fundraiser!
Mark the Date - Spay & Neuter Clinic February 3-10, 2007
With special thanks to Dr. Diaz who helped bring this important service to the island and all the unsung heroes of G.A.I.N. that have unselfishly given of themselves in an attempt to stop the overpopulation and suffering of our island animals, we want to encourage everyone to support this year's Spay & Neuter Clinic. Remember having a pet is not a rite of passage but an honor and an obligation.
Spay and Neuter Clinic February 3-10, 2007. Pass it on! If you're interested in volunteering to help during the clinic, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org Each of us can help make a difference.
Adios, Buckwheat - GFG Bids Farewell to Close Companion
A near and dear companion has made his transition over the Rainbow Bridge, and I have been silently grieving his loss. Although I share my life's dining adventures with all of you every week, I've got to give some of the credit for my work to a companion who stood by me through good and bad times, and who gave me both moral support and unconditional friendship. His name was Buckwheat, and I really miss his presence in my life. It was my privilege to have earned his devotion and trust. He relied on me just as I relied on him. I was with him during a difficult time when his health seriously declined, and though there was not much I could do to comfort him, he still would look at me with his green eyes and stretch out his paw to touch me. We definitely connected on the most meaningful level. He's now in a better place and I must move on. I wanted to share this photo of him and have him immortalized in the archives of the Internet. Seeing him happy and well is healing for me. Adios, Buckwheat!
This Time Last Year - Highlights from the GuamDiner.com Newsletter
Jan 13 2006 Vol 6 No 2
Restaurant Reviewed: Movie House Grill - Cozy Agat Eatery Offers Big Screen Thrills & Big Time Eats
Wine Tasting & Auction Fundraiser for Deanna Palmer Tonite! 6pm Hyatt Ballroom
Around The Island - Izakaya Katsu, Carmen's Cha Cha Cha Mexican Restaurant
Around the Island - OHG New Lunch Menu, Tumon Bay Lobster Bar & Grill, Sichuan Kitchen Saturday Hot Pot Lunch Special
Chef Chris Aguon and his OHG team have introduced a brand new lunch and dinner menu in the last few weeks. While I haven't had the chance to enjoy dinner yet, I have been there for lunch and tried the BBQ Burger ($8.95) with Cheddar Cheese, Crispy Onion Rings and Chipotle BBQ Sauce. This burger was so tasty and addictively delicious that I never put it back down on my plate! The new lunch menu reflects a stylistic change, as all the descriptions are streamlined, which makes for easier reading and ordering. There are more Starters than ever before, and feature such items as Crispy Norwegian Salmon Spring Rolls, Sesame Scallion Poki, Spinach Dip with 3 Cheeses (feta, parmesan, and mozzarella), and Chicken Lettuce Wraps. Vegetarians will have more choices with a Grilled Vegetable Sandwich with Roasted Garlic Aioli on Ciabatta Bread, Grilled Vegetable Pizza, and Spaghetti with Roasted Eggplant, Zucchini, Tomatoes, Feta Cheese, and Pine Nuts. There are salad options as well as entrees, with some popular holdovers like the Korean Style Shortribs.
Tumon Bay Lobster Bar & Grill has been re-building and re-branding itself for the past year, and has made remarkable progress. There are many people who are completely surprised when they ascend the stairs to the second story deck, and see the spaciousness of this restaurant that offers both indoor and outdoor dining. There is also live entertainment on the outdoor deck, which you can enjoy even if you're seated inside. For those of you who've not seen this restaurant, you may be able to get a better idea by looking at the diner page picture we have that was taken from a scaffold placed in front of the building. I was there the other night and was thinking of having two appetizers, the Sauteed Crab Legs in Garlic Herb Butter ($15.95) and the BBQ St. Louis Style Ribs with Cherry BBQ Sauce ($11.95), but I was easily persuaded by manager Erika Cruz to order the BBQ Spare-Ribs Entree for $13.95 (just $2 more!) and get the salad bar, vegetables, and a baked potato with all the trimmings! You can see just how much food they give you...everything is big!
Sichuan Kitchen has just launched a Saturday HOT POT Lunch Special, which means that they are only serving Hot Pot during lunch. This is a way to introduce the Chongquing Hot Pot dining experience to local residents and visitors, and it's being done at a substantial savings. For starters, the Broth usually costs $10. For the Lunch Special, it's free! Once you've had the Hot Pot and learned how to make your own dipping sauces and how long to cook the various food items (meats, vegetables, seafood), you will feel proud that you've mastered a new art, and it'll be something you'll delight your friends with when you teach them how to enjoy hot pot. You can enjoy both Cantonese and Sichuanese cuisine at Sichuan Kitchen, during weekdays and weeknights, as well as on weekends with Saturday's lunch being the exception. Come to Sichuan Kitchen and enjoy authentic Sichuan Chongquing "Hot Pot"!
Linda's Cafe - Venerable Island Diner Just Keeps Going and Going, 24 Hours a Day
In the American culinary tradition, the phrase "greasy spoon" typically describes a place where people go to get their "food groove on" with foods that are usually thought to be anything but healthy. It's the kind of food that's supposed to "stick to your ribs" (pardon the pun!) with dishes flavored by and cooked with animal fats, and where you certainly won't find tofu or yogurt on the menu. After all, there are plenty of other places for that! Linda's Cafe is fully qualified for the moniker "greasy spoon" as they've been serving up "greasy spoon fare" for about 50 years and I've got to say the food just tastes too darn good to refuse!
Located adjacent to its sibling establishment, Bob's Whispering Palms, a popular "watering hole" that's been a seemingly permanent fixture like Linda's on the ocean side of East Hagatna Bay, I have always wanted to review Linda's Cafe. I was finally prompted to do so by the construction of a new dining room extension, one that seemed to double the capacity as well as to renovate an area that's been occupied by buildings that have been here longer than the weather! Linda's is an amazing place...all you have to do is go in and sit down at the counter -they are open 24 hours a day - anytime. You'll see what a "greasy spoon" kind of joint Linda's is, and why it is so beloved by its many customers.
I dropped by twice, once for a very late breakfast near midnight and the next time for a lunch review when they serve their famous specials. The "midnight breakfast" included sampling three entrees - a Bacon Burger with Cheese ($5), Chamorro Sausage & Eggs Rancho Breakfast ($ 8) and the Fried Chicken Dinner ($7.50). No, I didn't try to eat it all, but I did eat a lot! The burger was really what you'd look for in a burger - lots of taste from loads of fat, cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, and a toasted bun. I've had better, but there was something oddly satisfying about eating here at the counter, watching the ebb and flow of the servers placing and taking orders through the kitchen pass. There's a sign that reads in big bold RED letters, "We use MSG. If you prefer your food w/out MSG, please let the server know." I'm not affected by MSG much so I didn't know if the burger was heavily laden or not!
The next entree was the Chamorro Sausage & Eggs Rancho Breakfast, which is definitely for hearty appetites. The Rancho Breakfast series has several variations besides the Chamorro Sausage. You can get Ham & Eggs, Bacon & Eggs, Portuguese Sausage & Eggs, or the Steak & Eggs. All of these come with two eggs cooked the way you like them, hash browns, toast, and pancakes. I did drink several cups of coffee with this meal, and they did provide canned milk. The hash browns were the best I've eaten on Guam, so good, in fact, that they evoked childhood memories! My mom made the best hash browns with mashed potatoes that were fried in bacon grease after being "riced" to make them straw-like - there's a fine point they reach that crisps the outer crust just prior to burning. The eggs were over easy and blended in with the hash browns, just the way I like them. I added bits of the ground up Chamorro sausage. I had the Fried Chicken Dinner delivered more for show than to eat. I did have a piece to sample with the bowl of finadene. It looked better than it tasted, but it wasn't bad...I'm just spoiled by my own recipes.
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