April 13, 2007, Volume 7 Number 14
Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
Nothing short of spectacular! That's my assessment of the recent "soft opening" of the Sheraton Laguna Guam Resort. Everyone from VP/General Manager, Brian Pak, to the housekeeping and kitchen staff, should give themselves a resounding "high five" for achieving what some have deemed the undoable! To have accomplished so much in such a short time defies the expectations of our typical thinking. No, it's not a miracle. It's purely and simply known as "D-E-T-E-R-M-I-N-A-T-I-O-N." This is the driving force instilled by the Ken Corporation, owners of this dazzling new property, which has done far more than transform the site and shell of the former Palace Hotel. They have carved out and created an entirely new facility that appears to be on course to reaching its stated objective to be a "5.5 Star" property.
Sheraton will introduces new names to our island's restaurant lexicon, so soon you'll be talking about dining at The President, where you'll have personalized teppanyaki prepared at your table, or you may find yourself feasting at La Cascata's Saturday Night Asian Buffet. The Point and Atrio will be the new "in" places to rendezvous.
Without getting caught up in the hype of hyperbole, as it were, Sheraton has loaded amenities in all of its guest rooms that essentially raise the bar on all hotel amenities currently offered in this market. Just look at a Standard Room, which has a 32" Plasma Screen TV with DVD player. For an even greater impression, try the Ocean Front or Bayview Corner Suites, that have Jacuzzis on the balcony. The interior design, decor, and aesthetics for the property are exquisite. They set out to be different - to go above and beyond - and that's where they are today. The challenge will be in maintaining what's been achieved. As is said about success in this industry, it's one thing to earn those stars and something else to keep them polished! Let's wish them well in their endeavors and applaud their phenomenal achievement thus far!
Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"
THINGS TO DO! (Where to find me and why I'm so busy!)
PHARE 2007 - Friday & Saturday's Culinary Competitions, Hyatt Regency Guam
UOGEF/MCA 6th Annual Chef's Cup Competition - SandCastle, Wednesday, April 18
10th Annual Auction & Wine Tasting - Benefit for the Guam Girl Scouts Hyatt Regency, April 20
Many of my long time reader know that it was Bob "the Cookie Man" (originator of Chamorro Chips) McLaughlin's Boston Pizza Co. where I got my launch as the Guam Food Guy. In fact, I was not even the food guy then, just a "Boston Pizza afficianado" if I recall correctly! That's how I ended a mini-review recommending Boston Pizza that I emailed to a handful of people, one of whom was Arlene Steffy, who talked about my Boston Pizza experience on her radio talk show. That was back in January 2000, a month after Bob opened his Fountain Plaza location. And, look at how things have changed since then! He's expanded into the Dededo Cost-U-Less and Tamuning's Century Plaza.
I've since become the Guam Food Guy and GuamDiner's my home! Everything's changed except for the great taste of Bob's pizzas...I don't even know what he uses to make them taste so doggone good! I was there the other night and took a photo of someone else's 19" combo pizza that had just come out of the oven! Wow, did that bring back some memories! I've not had to order the big 19-inchers in a while - it's more than I can eat - even more than two people can eat. You need at least three folks to down one of these monster pizzas!
What I do order are the perfectly-sized-for-me 9" Pizzettes. These are around $8 after I add Italian Sausage, Pepperoni, and Mushrooms. I don't even care about the price...just look at those pizzas! The thin crusts are perfectly baked and all of the ingredients are fresh each day - which means no canned mushrooms!
All I can say is that if you know Bob, you know that he takes his pizzas seriously. Thanks, "Bobby"!
Horse & Cow Bar & Grill Guam
I have to preface my comments about Horse & Cow Bar & Grill's food with this message: "If you don't believe me, go see for yourself!"
Someone is really smart. That someone has figured out that he can get people to come back to his restaurant again after having supremely good food at incredibly affordable prices. After trying out the World Famous H&C Wings XXX on my first visit, I had to return to try what I consider to be one of my new favorites, Gourmet Wings with a Lemon Pepper Dry Rub (12 wings/$7.75). These are fried thoroughly to a crisp and doused in a savory lemon pepper blend. To add a little more citrus zing, ask for some fresh lemon wedges. Other Dry Rubs are Cajun, Ranch, & Montreal. Other Wet Sauces are Spicy Soy Ginger, Garlic Butter, Oyster Sauce, Vinegar & Salt, and Sweet & Sour.
As I was there on a Friday, I thought I'd try out the special $1 Taco which are featured for a buck each on Tuesday's and Friday's only. For the price, you can't beat this taco anywhere on island. The ground beef was well-seasoned, there was lots of lettuce, fresh tomato and cheese, and the tortilla was grilled. I could have eaten 10 of these! It was better than tacos for which I've paid three to four times more - go see for yourself!
I went back again on a Sunday night and had those fabulous Lemon Pepper Wings along with Bobbi's Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad ($6.25). Now I don't know who Bobbi is, but a secret homemade recipe sure makes this one of the tastiest salads you can get. If you look at the photo of this salad, it's piled on an aluminum pizza pan that's gotta be 12" in diameter. It's a two-person salad, with fresh toasted croutons made from dark and light breads. Surprisingly fresh ingredients...lots of lettuce, black olives and that scrumptious zesty dressing.
Last, but not in any way the least. You may recall that Muhammad Ali, was prone to calling himself (and proving himself) as "The Greatest". Well, in a round about way, that's where I'm going with this, though I'm not going to get into the "taste war" (it's really very good tasting), but I'm referring to the physical stature of this burger. Yes, this is, as the photo attempts to show, a colossal Bacon Burger ($7.75, add $.25 for cheese). The menu says that all H&C Burgers are served with a Mountain of Fries which can be made into garlic, ranch or cajun fries for an additional $.50. It is indeed a mountain. I've not seen any restaurant put that many fries on a plate with a sandwich. The burger is a huge half-pound of ground beef, with lots of lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, and pickles, on a well-toasted sesame seed bun. It was so big that I didn't even see that there was a 4-1/2" Frill Pick planted in the top until I felt the point on my finger when I was trying to lift the sandwich. Did I say "bacon"? The picture shows it all. Good tasting bacon, too. They didn't make this burger just to impress me. I saw eight other burger platters go out to other customers during the time I was eating mine. Our server said that though this burger was big, the One-Pound Double Burger ($9.50) towers to nearly twice the size! We'll have to see that one. Go there...they are open throughout the day.
When it comes to the beloved BLT (bacon, lettuce & tomato sandwiches), Stanlee's BLT is the best. That's all there is to it! If you are a BLT lover like me, then you demand a sandwich that has lots of bacon, lettuce, and tomato, which is Stanlee's philosophy. For $6, you get this awesome sandwich on either multi-grain or white bread (he'll toast it up good for you, if you like) with a generous amount of mayonnaise on it. The french fries he serves are also notably good, and he gives you just enough to not get stuffed. Stanlee's has been voted and ranked as having Guam's best sandwiches. I don't know his secret---well, actually, it's not really a secret, it's really a personal philosophy of Stanley Miller, Stanlee's illustrious proprietor. He told me that he makes his sandwiches the way he likes to eat them. Good on you, Stanley! (Actually, better IN me!) I've also said before that his sandwiches are therapeutic - I feel so much better about life after eating that BLT. Of course, pretty soon I'm going to have to convert that bacon into tofu. But even then, I'm sure Stanlee's will figure a way to make even tofu taste great in his sandwiches!
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