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August 1, 2008, Volume 8 Number 22


Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

Feeling overwhelmed? You're not alone! I know there's probably no shortage of things going on in our lives with each of us carrying our own list of daily must-do priorities along with the routine activities comprising our work and play. Although there are certainly more serious life issues we must face, we still have to make time to eat, and that is where the challenge begins. There are more dining choices available now than ever before and it seems that everywhere we go we are being offered the opportunity to satisfy a craving or to silence our hunger pains with a quick bite, snack, meal, or beverage, even when we go shopping for non-food items at malls and shopping centers or when we're pumping gas. Just buying a simple cup of coffee can entice you to pick up a muffin or a sandwich!

Our mission at GuamDiner.com is to be a resource you can use to navigate through the maze of dining choices. Whether you search through our user-friendly directories that list restaurants by village, cuisine style, and restaurant categories, or check out featured lunch and dinner specials, we are a useful tool and we do our best to stay current with restaurant changes and happenings. We thank you for joining us in our virtual food and dining odyssey - we look forward to sharing more great experiences in the months and years ahead!

Bon appetit!
Ken the "Guam Food Guy"

Taste Guam
Saturday August 2 5-10pm
Micronesia Mall - Expo Hall
FREE to the Public!

Don't miss Guam's ultimate food and beverage festival! It's the first annual Taste Guam and it's going to be the most exciting event involving food and drink we've ever had on Guam, replete with food exhibits, tastings, chef competitions, cooking demonstrations, and entertainment - all held under one roof!! Visitors will be able to purchase scrips (like those at the Japan Club Festival at Ypao Beach Park) that can be used to buy food plates and beverages of their choice, with prices varying. Proceeds from Taste Guam will support the Micronesian Chefs' Association, GCC Culinary Arts Academy, and GHRA Scholarships.

Manhattan Steakhouse
Dine & Ride III Promotion
August 4 - November 7, 2008

Rev up your engines and get your appetites tuned in for this exciting opportunity to win a 2008 model Harley Davidson Motor Cycle! All you need to do to qualify is to eat a dinner during this contest period at the Marriott's Manhattan Steakhouse. You will receive an entry form with each meal that will be entered in a drawing that will select the final contestants who will be given a key to try to start the new motorcycle on display at the final contest event sometime in November. This event is also one that gives to the community, with proceeds benefitting Habitat for Humanity, Rainbows for all Children, and Autism Community Together.

"Auf Wiedersehen!" Manfred Pieper!

It is indeed the end of an era for Guam with the imminent departure of Manfred Pieper, long-time General Manager of the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa, who will be relocating to Bangkok, Thailand where his new assignment will have him managing the Conrad Hotel, an upscale brand in the Hilton family. Pieper is considered the "last of the titans" the old guard hoteliers who navigated Guam's hospitality industry through the growth-challenged and disaster-plagued years of the past two decades. He is singularly the most recognized, iconic figurehead of all the hotel executives and is one of those rare individuals who rose to the top after starting at the bottom, dedicating his entire life and career to hospitality. Our best wishes for his continued success and for his expected return to this much-beloved island he and his wife Li-wei consider home. "auf Wiedersehen, Herr Pieper!"

[Photo: L-R, Bert Unpingco aka "Mr. Guam Tourism"; Hayato "Jack" Yoshino, President P.H.R. Ken Asset Management, Inc.; Manfred Pieper, outgoing Hilton GM; and new General Manager, Tsukasa Yanagishima.]

Toh-Lee Restaurant
Summer Time Special Chinese Lunch Buffet
16th Floor
Hotel Nikko Guam
Tumon
649-8815 Ext 7504/7508
Lunch Service 11:30am - 2pm

It's like dining at the top of the island! Yes, the Toh-Lee Restaurant is open again for lunch and is featuring a pretty decent all-you-can-eat buffet of selected Chinese favorites. There is no better view of Tumon Bay than that seen from these huge floor-to-ceiling windows! It is most enchanting and certainly worth the price of admission, which is only $18 (adults, plus 10% sc).

Among the items featured in the buffet are a few dim sum choices such as har gau (shrimp), shu mai, and pork shumai. They offer the traditional Chinese condiments for making your own dipping sauce (hot chili oil, vinegar, and soy) as well as Chinese hot mustard which is wasabi's spicier brother. I liked the Congee Station, where you can add shrimp, century egg, Chinese parsley, and fried wonton as toppings to your rice gruel.

The weekly menu main entrees include Combination Fried Rice, Chop Suey and Crispy Noodles, Braised Chicken Wings, Sweet & Sour Meat Balls, Fried Chicken with a special sauce, Pan Fried Gyoza, and Sauteed Beef with Potato. For dessert you can have some refreshing Almond Jelly or a delicious Sesame Ball.

If you really want to impress your friends, loved ones, or business colleagues, you will certainly do so at this magnificent restaurant perched on the top of Tumon's northernmost hotel. From this towering vantage point, everything else goes south!

Mama Gyros
Pamela 76 Building (across from Siam and Napa and next to the Lucky Break Lounge)
Anigua
472-GYRO (4976)

Oh Boy! The wait is over! Mama Gyros is finally open. They opened on Liberation Day and were swamped for business. You can see they are still new as they are awaiting interior decorations to dress up their plain white walls. But you don't need decorative items to enjoy some pretty darned good and authentic Greek gyros and other specialty sandwiches, most of which are made on pita bread.

Now this is no ordinary store-bought pita...it's a pita that "mama would make"...big, fluffy, warm and doughy, with a taste you'll appreciate with the very first (and last) bite! The menu is simple with the main house signature item being the Pita with Gyros ($6.49). Using a secret gyros meat recipe and homemade tzatziki that oh-so refreshing Greek sauce made with cucumbers, garlic, olive oil, yogurt,and a little salt &pepper, this is a sandwich worth savoring. It also has onions and diced tomatoes. Pick it up with both hands and try not to lose any of the deliciousness! I can't wait to try the Pita with Chicken, which uses their special Mediterranean chicken instead of lamb, for the same price.

A combo meal of any sandwich includes a bag of chips and either a soda drink for an extra $1.50, or a Smoothie, for an added $3. Each sandwich comes with a thick wedge of tart dill pickle. I had the 14 oz. Berry Nana Smoothie (made with fresh berries. They also have a Banana Blush, Mango Crush, Passion Pink, Oreo Explosion and Strawberry Sin - something for everyone's tastes!

I also had one of my server Jane's favorite sandwiches, the Honey Dijon Grilled Chicken ($5.99), made with Mediterranean chicken, mozzarella, sauteed onions, honey, dijon mustard, and romaine lettuce, encased in a warm pita. This sandwich gets exceptional marks! Other available sandwiches are a Philly Cheese Steak, Roast Beef & Cheese, Veggie & Cheese Pita, Tuna Melt and BBQ Chicken. Take-out orders are available and there is limited delivery within the area.

Mama Gyros is owned by an authentic Greek guy, Anastasios Menzies, or "Tas" for short. He is joined by his brother, Argyris "Aris" Menzies. They are both fun-loving, life-appreciating guys...it's a pleasure to share time with them. Mama Gyros hours are from 10am-6pm Mon-Fri and from 11am-3pm Saturdays. These boys paid attention to their mama, who told them: "Eat something good every day"! Thanks, Mama Gyros!

[Photo: Mama Gyros staff Jane (front left), Anastasios "Tas" Menzies, owner (front middle), Dulce Sapalicio (front right, and Tas' fiance--another reason for his happy grin), and Argyris "Aris" Menzies, Tas' brother in back row.]

Old Hagatna Grill (Blueberry Pancakes - Oh my!)
Agana
472-5885

Just look at this breakfast! Have you ever seen so many fresh blueberries? Those cakes are topped by a glorious dollop of cinnamon whipped cream that just melts in all the right places and it is just $6.95. You can't go wrong with the organic coffee freshly ground and served in a French press.

Speaking of OHG, check out their Taco Tuesday's Dinner Special, featuring all you can eat tacos for $8.99 and drink specials on Mexican beers (Negra Modelo, San Miguel, Corona) and Kahlua mixed drinks. Every Tuesday from 4-7pm. Ole!!

Lone Star Steakhouse
Tamuning
646-6061

This falls under the category of "Fulfilled Cravings". You got it, I needed a steak. Went to Lone Star. Had the New York Strip ($27.99), medium rare. Ate all of it, with no balutan. All is right in the world.

The President (Nippon)
Sheraton Laguna Guam Resort
Tamuning
646-2222

I've been to The President (Nippon) at the Sheraton several times for lunch, enjoying Chef Nakajima's exquisitely prepared and sumptuously satisfying bento specials as well as the Sakura Teppan Lunch ($20). This day I had the Tsuru ($40) Course, which further reinforced my opinion that the President serves the best. Tsuru is the Japanese crane, and is considered a national treasure and icon used extensively in art.

Well, there was art in today's creations. An amuse bouche (the bite that delights like a pre-appetizer) arrives first in the form of two stuffed smoked salmon balls served on yellow, red & green pepper slices. Bravo! A French onion soup and salad followed next.

Teppan chef Shishida-san then prepared the scallops, which were covered in a savory sea urchin sauce and sprinkled with green onions. Wow! I had the Tenderloin Filet cooked medium rare. A double wow! So incredibly tender and full of juicy delicious steak essence. We had the garlic rice - something you must try. It is practically a meal on its own! The dipping sauces for the meat and sauteed vegetables are perfect companions.

When you are through at the teppan counter, you move to the sitting lounge for your dessert and coffee or tea. The ice cream and fresh fruit are the final gesture of exceptional hospitality. Now you see why they are the best!

Seoul Jung Korean Cuisine
Mezzanine Floor
Holiday Resort Guam
Tumon
647-7272

Seoul Jung is Guam's newest Korean addition and probably it's finest - for Korean Fine Dining that is. It is edifying to eat here - you are pampered by stellar service as they aim to please. No expense was spared in creating a tastefully furnished, artistically-appealing dining room that complements the exquisite quality and authentic flavors of the foods prepared by Seoul Jung's chefs.

We had the Chapssal Haemon Pajeon (Rice Seafood Pancake, $15) to start. It came with two delightful dipping sauces. This is more than enough for two to share.

Then we had the Woo Sui Gui (Beef Tongue) that was prepared for self-grilling at the table. The gas grill is state of the art with built-in ventilation. It cooks the meats rapidly and consistently.

Next we had the Sang Kalbi ($18, 150 gram) which was extremely tender and well-marbled. The grill worked magically in cooking these to perfection.

Our last course was the Dolsot Bibimbab (Hot Stone Pot Rice w/Vegetables, $15), which is a classic favorite. The vegetable ingredients in this dish were abundant and nutritional. It's another dish that's a meal on its own.

At the end of the meal, your palate is cleansed and refreshed by a ginseng glace...it was a marvelous way to cool the palate after the spicy indulgence in the grilled meats and kimchis.

Seoul Jung has both Western-style tables and traditional Korean seating along with stylish private rooms. It is only open for dinners. Enjoy Guam's premium Korean dining adventure at Seoul Jung Korean Cuisine.

Chal Mokkeisumnida!

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