October 12, 2007, Volume 7 Number 41
Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
Most of you may not know that the Guam Food Guy was a rock musician during his high school years, however, if you were within a 60 ft. radius of him during last Friday night's American English (the Beatles Tribute Band) benefit concert at Sheraton Laguna Guam Resort, you'd have been amazed by how he managed to know and sing along to all the Beatles songs performed. Yes, I joined a ballroom full of ecstatic Beatles fans during one of several concerts raising funds for the Edward M. Calvo Cancer Foundation.
"Come Together - A Beatles Tribute" was the name of this phenomenal show put on by four young American lads who are rated as the best Beatles tribute band re-creating the Beatles as they were known through the early 60's to the 70's.
I was more than just a Beatles fan - I literally idolized Paul and even performed with his trademark violin shaped Hofner electric bass guitar. Our Beatles fascination started in Japan in 1965 and we (my brother Lee & I) put our desires into musical skills, and started playing in a band.
The group which we were most popularly known as in the San Diego/Southern California area was the Mystic Chapter V, and we played at high school dances, county fairs, military clubs, college parties, and at other events. We even managed to achieve a bit of national fame when we played in a Battle of the Bands on Happening 69, a Pop Music TV Show hosted by Dick Clark Productions. In the photo I'm seen dressed in PJ bottoms and camouflage jacket during a practice session (we used black lights to get into the mood). There are psychedelic images of the Beatles in the background taken from their White Album. [Photo: Ken Stewart circa 1968]
What a time! "Those were the days, my friend!."
Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"
Pastries in Paradise
A Decade of Decadence
Saturday Oct 13, 2007
Guam Hotel Okura
Don't miss Guam's sweetest event of the year, Pastries in Paradise, scheduled for tomorrow night. This year's event, titled "A Decade of Decadence", will be at the Guam Hotel Okura in the Orchid Room this Saturday evening, from 6-10pm.
Splendid displays of confectionery art will fill the room along with the aromatic fragrance of chocolate and other delicious ingredients. This is the event where pastry chefs from major hotel and restaurants show their stuff and attendees will indulge in an incredible amount of delectable edibles.
Aside from dessert creations, there will be beverage samplings from industry participants. Various competitions enliven the scene with such titles as Bailey's Irish Cream Dessert Challenge, Torani Sugar Free Beverage Competition, Judge's Cup, and People's Choice Awards up for grabs. Entertainment will be provided by Maseha.
Be sure to join this 10th year celebration of the sweetest part of living on Guam, Pastries in Paradise. Proceeds support the Lend-A-Hand Guam Chapter and the Micronesian Chefs' Association. Tickets are on sale now at the Pacific Daily News and the Guam Hotel & Restaurant Association. Tickets are $20 per adult (12 & up) and $10 per child (ages 6-1l), and entitle you to unlimited sampling! For more information, call GHRA at 649-1447, or email email@example.com
Guam Woman's Club
9th Annual Wine Tasting and Silent Auction
Friday October 19, 2007
Outrigger Resort Guam
This annual benefit for the Sugar Plum Tree is a "must-do" for those who enjoy sharing an evening of friendship with others, sampling fine wines from the island's top wine distributors, feasting on a sumptuous hors d'oeuvres buffet (prepared and presented as only the Outrigger can), shopping and bidding on a wonderful array of gifts and packages from island businesses, and taking a chance to win round trip tickets for two to Hong Kong compliments of Continental Airlines. Best of all, it's for a very good cause!
The event is next Friday evening, October 19 at the Outrigger Guam Resort from 5:30-10pm. Tickets are available at Salon Paradis, from all Guam Woman's Club members, and at the door. Contact Kathy Kernaghan for more info at 687-3072 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Micronesia Sound Waves
Thursday October 18, 2007
Westin Resort Guam
The Guam Humanities Council presents Micronesia Sound Waves, an evening to highlight musical performance as the "life soundtrack" of the different cultures of Guam and Micronesia. Building upon the Council's current Smithsonian Exhibition tour, New Harmonies, Celebrating American Roots Music, Micronesia Sound Waves will celebrate the evolution of our "island roots" music with notable contemporary artists such as Patrick Palomo, Maria Yatar, Parker Yobei, and up and coming performing artists from the region, Last Minute. The music starts at 6pm and goes until 9:30pm.
Tumon Trade Center
Menkui has become my favorite little ramen shop, and apparently I'm not alone! One Saturday night we showed up and were the only ones there for a while. Then, people began to show up until all the tables and counter seats were full. You could hear the clicking chopsticks wielded by the eager eaters!!
Zee had a Special Tan-Men ($8.50), that's a salt flavored broth with vegetables less the meat that usually goes into it. They really do ramen right here and it's hard to decide which is better, the broth or the fresh noodles! Ok, I've decided - it's a tie!
Moving away from the ramen, the Gyoza appetizer ($4) is a must and you can make your own dipping sauce with chili oil, vinegar, and shoyu. I had this to start, and ordered the Yakisoba ($7) to see what it was like. I wasn't disappointed. It was all you could want in a yakisoba, a nice balance of fresh ingredients, and texture. I mixed in the red ginger with the cabbage, onions, carrots, bean sprouts, noodles, and small pieces of pork. I was in "yakisoba heaven"!
As if that wasn't enough, in my quest to discover more of Menkui's fascinating flavor secrets, I'd also ordered the Niku Yasai Itame ($7.50), which is stir-fried vegetables and thinly-sliced pork. In fact, the pork is nearly imperceptible since the vegetables literally overwhelm the palate with their fresh-bursting and nutritious flavors. This entree had bean sprouts, cabbage, mushrooms, green onions, carrots, and bamboo shoots, which were sauted to the precise point of where all of the vegetables retained their crunchy texture. The pork enhanced the flavor with a little stir-fry sauce chef had made. I still have a keen memory of the sensations of pleasure I felt eating this Niku Yasai Itame - oishi desu!
Pacific Islands Club
646-9171 ext 2935
There's no place like Bistro, which is why it retains its preeminence as a business lunch destination. The pampered service, white tablecloths with table settings create a perfect "mis en place" (if I could borrow this kitchen phrase), a thoughtful seating profile where you can see and be seen, a stunning view of Tumon Bay, and the overall ambiance work in concert to make guests feel that they deserve to be here.
Bistro features a weekly lunch special that's updated online, and when you enter you can get a preview of the three featured daily selections. Of course, you can order from the Bistro Lunch a la Carte menu, which is what I did recently on two separate occasions.
The first entree I had was the Miso Glazed Ribeye ($17), which is a delightful miso-infused and sake glazed ribeye steak served with a soy reduction. This tastes as good as it sounds (even better, since it satisfies the craving it creates!) You can get this cooked to your preferred doneness. I went for Medium Rare. You also have a choice of rice or mashed potatoes. The ribeye is draped over the starch and the perfectly steamed vegetables (carrots and zucchini this day) are a nice complement to this entree.
On my second visit, I had the Pistachio Nut Salmon ($16); a generous salmon filet with a pistachio nut crust on top and a cabernet buerre blanc sauce. I had this medium rare as well and can only tell you that this was a melt-in-your mouth experience. Positively delightful! And what a lovely presentation. They put a tiny rose on top of my fish. The colors of the pistachio chips and the rose on top of that golden, hash-brown colored crust gave way to the splendid pink and moist salmon meat beneath. All was mounted on top of mashed potatoes again. The consistently high standards of food quality and presentation are why the Bistro does so well!
Vitale's Italian Ristorante
Plaza Arcade (across from the DFS Galleria)
Vitale's has recently introduced an expanded new menu that now features such favorites as Spaghetti Carbonara ($14.95), Cannolini with Meat Balls, Angel Spaghetti, Fettuccine with Shrimp and Stuffed Large Pizza.
We ordered the new appetizer, Bruschetta ($4.95), which consisted of five large pieces of bread topped by a garlicky tomato and basil salsa. It's a lot to eat so be sure to have company since Garlic Bread is complimentary with each pasta entree. I don't remember when I last tried the Garlic Bread with Cheese ($4), but I saw it on an adjoining table and made a promise to myself that one day!
The main entree I ordered was the Manicotti with Meat Balls ($15.95). This Italian crepes stuffed with spinach and ricotta cheese smothered with a special tomato sauce and lots of Mozzarella cheese. I don't usually order the meat balls since I'm really addicted to Vitale's Italian sausage, but his meatballs are just as awesome and you get a big portion, as well. This dish is comes piping hot out of the oven and needs to cool down a bit before you start spooning your way through it. My advice is to limit your appetizer consumption because this dish will fill you up.
House of Brutus
While it may seem that Sunday morning breakfast options are plentiful, trying to get less food than a buffet and less of a crowd is a little more challenging. If you like coffee with your breakfast, and I mean a superior grade of coffee, well, that limits you even further. For a bit more privacy and sophistication, well, it's going to be the House of Brutus, which is night club and cabaret at night and a bright, sunshiny breakfast place in the morning!
You can get a regular Americano ($2) made with illy espresso and served in a very tall coffee glass, or do as I did and get the Super Americano ($3.50), which entitles you to unlimited refills. Truthfully, one can only drink so much, but if you are a coffee fanatic, this is java paradise!
Zee ordered the Brutus French Toast ($6.75) garnished with a super sweet strawberry which made us wonder "where'd they get them berries?"! The golden battered slices were also dusted with confectioner's powdered sugar and topped later by maple syrup. This is a nicely familiar breakfast.
On the other hand, I wandered out into "adventure land" and tried to eat a monstrosity called the Brutus Breakfast Bagel Saute ($7.50) a very large (I'd say "super large" ) toasted bagel topped with sauteed ham, mushrooms, onions, spinach, and mozzarella cheese. I wanted green onions, which they didn't have, so opted out of the onions. I would have enjoyed it more had I put on a little cream cheese or something else to add more moisture, since the bagels were so big in comparison to the portion of scrambled egg center, which was actually a decent portion. The taste was quite good, but that bagel was more than I could finish.
Hakubotan (across Tamuning Post Office)
The Seafood Chef's Lunch Buffet is a great bargain at $9 (plus10% sc)! It's available from Mon-Sun from 11am to 1:30pm. I stopped by the other day and was again reminded of how lucky people on Guam are to get such a nice variety of foods (soup, salad and dessert bars are included) in a buffet, and the food is well-prepared and very flavorful.
I treated myself to a salad and then had some meaty snow crab and mussels with garlic, kare kare (oxtail stew with peanut butter, which is one of my Filipino favorites), baked breaded salmon, and fried chicken.
I didn't even try the fresh lumpia, which are always good. They have sauces and toppings for everything, so this is a place where you can design your own dipping sauce. The beef for the kare kare was braised to a perfect tenderness!
The buffet selections change daily, but they usually have about three to four seafood items in the line. I have to come one night for their Seafood Dinner, which will be the topic of a future review. We'll get a basket of seafood and have it cooked the way we want it - that'll be fun!
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