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August 29, 2008, Volume 8 Number 24

Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

 

It's one of those special lifetime events to be able to celebrate a birthday that almost didn't happen. This was exactly what our family was able to do on August 27 when we assembled (some physically, others virtually via Skype and cell phones) to wish our beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother Toni a happy 82nd! Though still bed-ridden after surviving a serious illness, she's on the mend and looking chipper in her room in The Woodlands Healthcare Center in the suburbs of Houston.

Since I live the furthest away of all our family, I am really grateful to have been able to attend this celebration and to see my mom, to embrace her and to spend time talking with her and to call other family and friends for her. As you can see in this photo of us, Mom's all smiles and sends her love to all her friends and family. She has been the recipient of many prayers and she is a living demonstration of her faith in God and in the loving support she has received. Miracles do happen when you believe!

Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"

Sushi Ebisu Lunch Specials
Tumon
646-3735

Looking for an affordable Japanese lunch in Tumon? Try one of Sushi Ebisu's Lunch Specials which are all priced at $10. There are 8 bento-style meal sets that include Breaded and Fried Pork, Chicken, Shrimp, Oysters, and Squid, along with Grilled Pork with Ginger and a Grilled Fish (salmon or mackerel). During the past few weeks I was able to try out some of these and discovered why they have become so popular. They are delicious and will completely satisfy a normal appetite. The classic breaded and fried pork Tonkatsu is served in the traditional way with shredded cabbage, tonkatsu sauce and rice. The set includes daigo (pickled radish), miso soup, and maguro tuna sashimi.

My second lunch featured Grilled Pork with Ginger. The set comes with Azuma-don (sliced raw tuna over rice), pickled ginger, miso soup, and a salad that's plated with the sliced grilled pork. The thin but ample slices of tender pork have sesame seeds on top drizzled with a light ginger-soy sauce.

On my third lunch, I went for the Grilled Salmon, which came with the same sides as the Grilled Pork (azuma-don, ginger, soup & salad). The salmon was delicious and was a decent lunch sized portion, enough for most appetites.

On this lunch, I decided to order Ebisu's signature Rainbow Sushi Roll ($10), which was an indulgence that lasted me through dinner!

Sushi Ebisu's lunches area available Monday-Friday, from 11am-1:30pm (last call for orders). Sushi Ebisu is located just north of the Holiday Resort in that odd-triangle shaped building that has JJ Wine Bar on the 2nd floor. Take-out sushi orders are welcome!

PROA Dinner with Junko Shimizu
PROA Restaurant
Tumon
646-7762

We had a third reunion dinner with our friend from Japan, Junko Shimizu, who wanted to meet at a place recommended by another tourist who'd visited Guam before. It was PROA Restaurant, which has seen a continuous climb in its popularity among local residents and visitors, all for the same reason - GREAT FOOD!

We started out with the Tuna Tartare appetizer ($9.95) made with jalapeno, roasted red pepper coulis, and served with cumin-dusted potato chips.

Our next appetizer was the New Zealand Green Shell Mussels ($9.35), which are simmered in white wine, lemon and spiced up by chipotle chilies. This is an awesome dish that comes with toasted focaccia wedges. I could (and should) make a meal out of these - maybe order two!

Both Junko & Zee followed my recommendation for PROA's signature BBQ entrees, and had (what else?) the Big Feller Trio Platter ($12.50), which has all three of their hibachi grilled meats--short ribs, chicken, and spareribs--all finished with that mouth-watering Marianas Glaze! Isn't that's an ingenious name for a local sauce?

I ordered the Pork-Rib Chop ($13.95) marinated with orange, ginger and toasted paprika, which is a lunch-time favorite for me, albeit I've complained a bit about it being so good that I've embarrassed myself by eating it completely to the bone! I implored them to make me a double portion of the rib, (which they did), but after all those appetizers, far too much to eat. Moreover, when I compared it to the Marianas Glazed Ribs I sampled from Zee's plate, I then realized why more people were ordering PROA's BBQ - it's better than just plain finger-looking good!

We ended with the PROA Dessert Sampler ($8.95) that featured orange chocolate chip cookies, Coconut Banana Fritter (Junko loved this) served with Creme Anglaise, Mango Panna Cotta, and substituted the Wasabi Chocolate Cheesecake for the Strawberry Creme Brulee. We were all completely satisfied with our meal and had plenty of balutan (leftovers) to take with us!

Firefly Bistro
Hagatna
477-2565

Eating at Firefly is always a special treat. We went there since Zee had a craving for Firefly's famous Passion Salad ($9.95), with Grilled Chicken Breast (add $2). This lovely preparation is made with mixed greens, toasted cashew nuts, blue cheese, and drizzled with passion fruit vinaigrette. While the salad was fresh and flavorful, she was a bit disappointed that the blue cheese was not as "intense" as she recalled it being from previous meals. It's that distinct strong cheese depth needed to balance the sweetness of the passion fruit vinaigrette which does it for her. Maybe they changed cheeses.

I ordered the Thai Grapefruit Salad ($9.95) and topped it with Grilled Shrimp (add $4), and was totally pleased with this tasty creation. It was made with cashews, carrots, coconut, crispy garlic, red onion, cilantro, and topped with a kaffir lime-honey dressing.

I couldn't resist the urge to order an entree that sounded so very tempting - the Balsamic Braised Short Ribs ($24.95), which are braised to an extremely tender, melt-in-your mouth deliciousness and accompanied by a thick and cheesy parmesan risotto along with sauteed carrots, broccoli, and red bell peppers. It was oh-so-delicious!

One of my next adventures will be to try their Firefly Burger Extraordinaire ($22.95), that one of our dining neighbors ordered. This magnificent production has extra lean Beef, Pan Roasted Onions & Mushrooms, Seared Foie Gras, Peppercorn Sauce, and Saffron Aioli. It comes with Spicy Fries. Next time!

Shioti Eurasian Restaurant
Tumon Golf Driving Range
Upper Tumon
649-6368

Shioti Eurasian Restaurant has finally opened its doors and has impressed many dinners with their modern, well-designed interior ambiance and novel food creations by Chef Mark Quenga. I stopped in for lunch the other day and ordered the Soup du Jour ($4.95) which was a creamy seafood tomato soup. Truthfully, there was too much seafood in this soup to be an appetizer, it could have been a meal had I eaten any bread with it. It was well-seasoned and filled with clams and bits of fish.

For a main I wanted something light, so I had a Clubhouse Sandwich ($9.95)., which comes with Fries or Onion Rings. I traded these for a salad which looked like a large house salad. This colorful salad has romaine, purple cabbage, cherry tomatoes, black olives, and carrot strips accented by fresh toasted croutons. When I finally got my Club Sandwich made with toasted wheat bread and hot mustard aioli, I was nearly full. I removed the middle slice of bread to make room and ate as much as I could. The sandwich was pretty decent, with an adequate amount of ham and turkey, a slice of American cheese and a little bacon.

Other dishes available for lunch include appetizers like Mikkel's Philly Steak Spring Roll ($8), Salmon Cakes ($9.50), and Spicy Chicken Wings ($8.95). One interesting sandwich concept at Shioti is the Inside Out Burger($9.95), that has cheese on the inside of this thick Certified Angus Beef patty . There are Pastas( Linguine alla Carbonara & Grilled Chicken Fettuccine), and entrees like Pan Seared Tuna ($15.50) with Miso Plum Sauce, and Shioti's Famous Pork Chops ($12). The main lunch is served from 11am-2pm with a light lunch menu (during which you can get Shioti's Pork Chop Ramen for $10.50) from 2-5:30pm. Dinner hours are from 5:30-9:30pm. We'll have to come back for dinner soon!

Sunset Grill
Asan
472-3202

My how time flies! It had been over a year since we were down south at the old War in the Pacific Park Museum location in Asan that had been converted to a dive shop and eatery called Sharkies. Well, I was glad to receive an email from the owner of Sunset Grill which replaced Sharkies and has been operating for over eight months. We drove down and found a seat on the open air patio deck and watched a glorious sunset. There's nothing like Guam's picturesque mulit-hued sunsets. I'd been meaning to drop by this place since I'd heard they had some pretty good beef brisket. I'm sure happy we did!

Along with a beer and margarita, we ordered the Redneck Nachos ($7.50), which are served in a huge aluminum foil basket. The tortilla chips are heated on the grill and then layered with the most pulled pork you'll ever see on an appetizer and chili con queso. This is a gargantuan appetizer and should be shared with several people. The pork is deliciously tender and has that smokehouse flavor.

We also had the Brisket Plate ($9.50), which has been slow-smoked for 10 hours after being spiced with the Grill's secret rub blend. This dinner entree (along with others) comes with one side and we had the Red Beans & Rice. Other sides are Cole Slaw, Potato Salad, and Garlic Bread which we also had. The beef has that wonderful caramelized ends with the pinkish tint that slow smoking gives. It was tender as tender can be. A plastic dipping cup is filled with a tangy bbq sauce. The beans were deeply spiced with gumbo file.

One of the amazing discoveries at Sunset Grill is their family of wood fired and grilled pizzas! They make their dough by hand and place the pizzas in specially built pizza ovens which resemble bbq pits. You'll find pizzas such as Cheese ($11), White ($14 with sour cream, bacon and purple onions), and the "Elvis" ($14 with bbq sauce & pulled pork). Notable pizzas are the Sunset Grill Staff Favorites, which include the "Kevin" ($16), that has an Asian chili oil base, garlic marinated shrimp, fresh avocado slices, special cheese blend and is garnished with fresh cilantro and pistachio nuts; the "Steve " Pizza ($15) which has a garlic & olive oil base, garlic marinated shrimp, fresh tomato slices, artichoke hearts, and special cheese blend; and the "Shane" Pizza ($15), which has the BBQ sauce base, topped with pulled pork and covered with the Grill's famous Queso - they call this one the "kissin' cousin to the "Red Neck Nachos"!

We had the Steve Pizza since they didn't have the Avocado slices for the Kevin Pizza, our first choice. The dough was quite different from a traditional dough, but it still worked well and maintained its crunchy, thin-crust texture throughout the meal. More square than round, this pizza has plenty of cheese and tomatoes, along with chunks of shrimp interspersed with artichoke hearts. It's an intriguing creation and certainly has piqued our curiosity about order their other "quirky" pizzas lie the "Mario-garita" and "Larry" Pizzas, the latter made with bacon and white onions on a sour cream base, with jalapenos and cheese. As you can see, the foods are rich, filling, and certainly best when washed down with ice cold beers! Try Sunset Grill in Asan for a relaxing change of pace along with creative new tastes.

Bon appetit!

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