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April 4, 2008, Volume 8 Number 13

Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

When people ask me about the best social events on Guam that involve dining on elaborate and delicious food creations, I have no problem listing a few, however, there is one event that I take an even more personal interest in supporting and that is the Auction & Wine Tasting Fundraiser for the benefit of the Guam Girl Scouts. This is the 11th year for this highly successful often imitated, but never duplicated, event which is being held tonight (April 4) at the Hyatt Regency Guam, from 6-10pm. Ticket prices for this fun-filled evening are $70, and can be purchased at the door or if you'd like to get them prior to coming tonight, you can stop by Guam Rexall Drug Store in Tamuning.

Hyatt Regency Guam's Executive Chef Hermann Grossbichler has prepared a lavish menu of international culinary delights that will be paired an extensive range of wines so vast that it will likely go down in history as the most ever assembled at for a single tasting event! There are seven wine vendors who will be uncorking superb new wines to allow guests to preview them as they are being introduced to the market. Of course, there are scores of terrific auction items to be bid on and won during both the silent and live auction segments of the evening's program. This year's auctioneer is Steve Dormer and the celebrity emcee is the illustrious Travis Coffman, host of K57's Big Show!

One of the most exciting items guests can look forward to winning is a raffle drawing for two sets of round-trip tickets for two to your choice of the following destinations: Bali, Hong Kong, Cairns or the Philippines, courtesy of Continental Airlines. During last year's event, one of the lucky winners was Mary Okada, President of Guam Community College, who is shown in the photo with Guam Girl Scouts Executive Director Vickie Fish and Board Member and Auction Committee Chairman, Brian Downey. I couldn't recommend a better way for you to spend your Friday evening, especially when it's to benefit a worthy cause where your donations will make a difference in the life of a girl. See you there!

Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"
and proud Board Member of the Guam Girl Scouts!

Sam Choy's Restaurant
Pleasure Island

I try to make a point of urging folks to get out of their comfort zones when it comes to trying new and exciting foods when dining out. Well, this time it was my turn to try something new and exciting when I went to Sam Choy's for dinner the other night. As I scanned the menu, I noticed a few new things with one in particular catching my eye. It was Chef Peter's Dinanche Glazed Sizzling Strip Loin ($27.95), featuring a 12 oz. dinanche-crusted NY strip loin sprinkled with roasted garlic. Executive Chef Peter Duenas takes great pride in his local sauces, and his dinanche is highly-regarded. It has coconut milk and lots of boonie peppers as key ingredients, and has an almost mustard-like appearance. Well, this proved to be more exciting on its delivery than anything I recall eating in a long time, in fact, it literally "took our breath away"! Truly, the fumes emanating from the dinanche running down into the sizzling fat on the super heated platter was a potent and peppery assault on the senses. Yet when you take your first bite, BAM!, you are introduced to a sensational flavor explosion on your palate with a burn that'll make you sweat. For locals who like the heat, this is your steak!

We also ordered the Combo Pupu Platter ($16.95), which has the Fried Poke, Onolicious Ribs, and Luau Crab Dip (a mouth-watering blend of crabmeat baked with artichokes, spinach, and three cheeses served with garlic toast). This was by comparison, not as thrilling as that steak on turbo-drive, but a solid introduction to three of Sam Choy's signature appetizers. Chef Peter's finadene sauce is one of those great concoctions that would be perfect for first time visitors to try out. As you can see from the photo, it is an intense combination of green and white onions, soy sauce, and boonie peppers. Great stuff!

Al Dente Italian Ristorante
Hyatt Regency Guam

Extra! Extra! The March Cheese & Wine Affair has been extended through April 15! This is really good news since folks who have not yet tried this evening offering of unique wine pairings and cheeses will have a little more time to enjoy. I went and I will make it a point to go try it again. For $25, you can create your own cheese (choose three from a selection of nine with each of these having a suggested pairing) and wine sampler. I had the Pecorino Romano, the Manchego, and the Queso Azul, which where paired (in the same order) with an Antonin Rodet Pouilly Fuisse, Chateau Lagrazette Malbec and a Danzante Pinot Grigio. These pairing samplings are meant for two people to share, so I was able to make a meal of this since I dined alone. I can tell you that whoever made these suggested pairings, they were spot on. Magnificent!

You can read the description of the cheeses to get a sense of what you will be trying out, for example, the Iberico is made with cow, sheep and goat milk and is a semi-soft, semi-cured cheese that's pasteurized and aged for just three months. It is mild in flavor, but soft in texture and fatty, and paired with a Robert Mondavi Riesling. The cheese plates also come with bread, dried apricots, grapes, and walnuts. Another thing you can do is order a soup, pizza, pasta, or meat dish from the Chef's Special Menu (that also has wine pairings). It promises to be an evening of great tastes!

Central Perk Cafe
Yu Han Bldg.

Central Perk Cafe is just over a month old and has slowly been growing a fan base of customers who are returning to try different menu entrees. I did this the other day and still didn't have a chance to have the Sherry Chicken, however I did have the Central Perk Burger ($9.95), which was served with mixed greens tossed in balsamic vinegar. Before I had the burger, I ordered a bowl of the soup of the day, which happened to be a Mushroom and Clam Chowder ($4.95). This was the most clams I've ever had in a single bowl of chowder. It was an intensely-spiced dish, and almost seemed too salty, but it wasn't the was the peppery spice blends mixed with the natural saltiness of the clams.

The burger was awesome. It was 3/4 of a pound and had avocado slices, tomato, cheddar cheese, pickles, and lettuce on a toasted bun. The key ingredient was a pepper sauce that was poured over the top of the patty, giving this burger a powerful flavor boost. It was already a fantastic "two-hander" (the kind you have to hold with two hands as the juices drip down on your plate after each bite!) This burger certainly qualifies as a contender in my "Best Burgers" list!

Look for more great things from this little eatery in Anigua!

Old Hagatna Grill

Ever since Old Hagatna Grill started doing their breakfasts, I've had an opportunity to eat there a few more times than I usually go to places for breakfast. I think it's how they serve their coffee, which is an organic blend served in a French press. It's also an exciting menu that challenges you to try different things. I had the Pancakes ($6.95) with fresh strawberries. I thought the strawberries would be a topping, but to my delight I discovered they were also cooked inside the pancake, which really enhanced the entire experience. I also ordered a side of the Chamorro Sausage ($3), which is served ground. It has a fresher and spicier taste served this way, versus being served encased.

Then on another recent visit, I had the Smoked Salmon Bagel Lox ($12.95), which has two big bagels, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, sliced red onion, capers, and a heap of smoked salmon. This is a dish that lets you take your time enjoying. You don't have to rush to eat this like you do with hot dishes. OHG is a great place to start the has Wi-Fi and a great daylight view. I also like the friendly service I get. They check on you frequently to see how you are doing. I like that!

Bon Appetit!

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