November 21, 2008, Volume 8 Number 30
Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
What a difference each day makes! Can you grasp that concept? It's along the same line of thinking that former Beatle Paul McCartney set forth when he sang "And every morning brings a new day" in his love ballad "Every Night". I'm just amazed by how each day brings us an opportunity to do everything better if not different. It's also true that each and every day of the last two weeks has brought amazing and interesting food experiences that I'm hard-pressed to report on so I have to select the major ones.
This Diner Bytes issue will compress as many events and meals as I can fit in to this time block. I only wish you could have beem there at the tables with me eating these meals - who knows, maybe we will do that one of these days!
Thanksgiving is next week and we at GuamDiner.com want to wish you and yours a very tasty and satisfying Thanksgiving Day feast shared amongst family, friends and acquaintances. Be sure to check out the various Thanksgiving Specials from our outstanding restaurant subscribers.
Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"
Manhattan Steakhouse Dine & Ride III Promotion Winner Announced
Congratulations to Terri Voss, whose key turned the engine of a brand new Harley-Davidson Dyna Low-Rider during the cocktail drawing ceremony at the Chamorro Ballroom of the Guam Marriott Resort & Spa this past Thursday night!
She was one of ten finalists (from several hundred entries) in the Dine & Ride III Promotion held over the past few months at the Marriott's Manhattan Steakhouse. It was an exhilarating rush to hear and feel the deep rumbling engine resonate throughout the ballroom and there is no mistaking that unique sound which is all part of the allure of what Steppenwolf described in their Rock Classic "Born To Be Wild"! The other part is just having on of those darned good Certified Angus Beef steaks!
Exciting New Design Concept Amazes Diners at Tony Roma's Grand Opening at Royal Orchid Hotel
The opening of Tony Roma's new digs on the ground floor was much more than a relocation - it was a complete metamorphosis! Who would have associated Tony Roma's with glitz and glamour? This is the newest Tony Roma's design concept and has certainly raised the style bar for Guam's restaurant scene. The folks at WDI International, franchisee for Tony Roma's Guam, really mean business!
They even brought out a Tony Roma's corporate team to energize and re-tool the Tony Roma's dining experience. Lord knows that ribs have always been good, but we've never had them in such a ritzy, innovatively -designed facility! I daresay they single-handedly raised the value of the entire hotel with this significant investment in a state-of-the-art 21st century eatery.
Kudos to Darren Tallai, Vice-President and C.O.O. of WDI International, Inc., and his management team on this fantastic investment in Guam's future! [Photo L-R: John Stewart, Skydive Guam; George Johnson, Burberry's; WDI's Darren Tallai, WDI; Cencio Tan, Benson's Guam]
Sunday Round-Up Island Taste Tour
Jan Z's, McKraut's, Jeff's Pirates Cove, and May's Restaurant
Our Sunday odyssey started out two weekends ago when we decided to take that scenic drive down to Jan Z's by the Sea in the Agat Marina. We had no idea how our day would turn out based on our first stop.
Our expectations was to have one of Jan Z's legendary uber-pancakes, however, we were deeply disappointed! The blueberry pancake we ended up having (single, $3.50), was only slightly bigger in diameter than the butter ramekin on top of it, and it was about a third the thickness of what it should have been! I won't even talk about the bacon or other things that happened and didn't happen there. You can easily see the difference in the pancake size and thickness when you compare the photo of the pancakes taken in August.
They are on my "Watch Out" list! Having no manager is no excuse for the level of service we received, although our server was sincere in her apologies. If the owners can't operate this place the way it used to run when they had competent managers handling it, they should either sell it to someone who can or close it down.
McKraut's Fast Food
Guam is an amazing place in the universe of food! Who would ever imagine being served a genuine bratwurst sandwich by a 6 ft 2 inch German named Ludwig "Lutz" Uhmeyer at a road-side stand in the middle of the idyllic southern village of Malojloj? It is definitely one of those O.O.G (Only on Guam) experiences!
One of Lutz's signature items is his Bratwurst with Basil Bread ($6.50), which comes with German Krautsalad, Dijon Mustard and Pommes Frites - that's French fries to us Americans. He also has Polish dogs, regular hot dogs, hamburgers, and other sandwiches on his menu. It's a very popular place for village and other southern residents to frequent rather than to take that long drive into town.
McKraut's is open weekdays from 11am-9:30pm, Saturdays Noon-10pm and Sundays Noon-9pm. Come on down to Malojloj for a dining treat - it's worth the drive!
Jeff's Pirates Cove
Jeff's Pirates Cove is one of the island's most popular destinations if you are journeying to the south. It's always evolving since Jeff keeps adding new things with one of the most recent additions being a mural of himself! We drove north from Malojloj and stopped here for a couple of mudslides at the hand-crafted wooden bar shaped like a ship - there is no rival to this bar on Guam - and his Famous Homemade 1/2 lb Cheeseburger ($10), that has two slices of cheese, mayo, lettuce, tomato, onions and pickles accompanying a home-seasoned lean ground beef patty. Jeff is into merchandising his brand to such an extent that he even has his trademark skull & crossbones logo branded on the top of his burger bun!
We also munched on his Pika Wings (6 pcs, $7) that were deep fried extra crispy and served with a tasty ranch dip. Jeff's features some of the best fried seafood including scallops, nuggets, jumbo shrimp, and fish on island. His kelaguens are awesome. Needless to say, our Sunday food fest turned out far better than it had started!
May's Restaurant (following Sunday)
Kim Chee Commercial Complex (across from GPO)
If you've not gone to May's for breakfast, you ought to give it serious consideration. Not only does she have breakfast specials starting at $3.50 and going up to $6, she can also make some pretty good dim sum, too, as we certainly found out the Sunday following our Jan Z's calamity. We ordered Har Gau (shrimp dumpling, $3.50); Shiu Mai ($3.50); Pan Fried Rice Noodle Rolls ($4), it was our first time trying these and they were really good; Steamed Pork Spareribs with Black Bean Sauce ($3); Sesame Balls ($3); Custard Pie ($3); and a large bowl of Congee ($6), which is a popular rice porridge dish served for breakfast that is really a meal in itself that had slices of beef and green onions.
I originally planned to have the Shrimp Scrambled with Eggs and Green Onions ($3.50) and decided to have it despite having ordered all the dim sum and Congee!
Well, it was a "break feast" for sure, and we even had some leftover Congee! May's features over 30 dim sum dishes which can be ordered for breakfast or during lunch.
Blue Lagoon Plaza
Two weeks ago Friday we returned to Kai for another sensational culinary adventure to Japan. Every night Chef/Owner Yanase-san prepares special menu items that you can order off the boards hanging on walls of this cozy restaurant, one behind the counter and the other in the dining room.
One of today's specials was the Kushiage ($12), which had pork, beef, chicken, eggplant, okra, rice cake, shrimp and tuna on skewers that were deep-fried with panko. This was a great appetizer that two could share.
Another special we had was Today's Kai Roll, that combined tuna, shrimp, salmon, tobiko, cucumber, avocado, and carrots with a sweet sauce and spicy mayonnaise ($8).
Zee specifically wanted the Tuna Carpaccio ($13) which was a fabulous presentation of thinly-sliced fresh tuna marinated in a light vinaigrette with fried garlic chips, red onion slices, and fresh tomatoes on a bed of crisp romaine.
Of course I had to have my Teriyaki Beef Spareribs, which are sesame seed crusted beef chunks so tender that the meat was barely clinging to the rib bones, drizzled with a savory teriyaki sauce - this is one of Yanase's signature appetizers and must to be tried. Also, not to be missed, are the Sunagimo-kushi yaki - chicken gizzards grilled on skewers ($6), which had some of that spicy hot mustard along with some shredded cabbage with dressing. Yanase-san later put on a funny mask which definitely adds an element of charm and humor to this relaxing authentic izakaya - you really think you are in Japan when eating here!
The Bus Stop Internet Cafe (adjacent to Skinner Plaza)
I had the pleasant experience of stopping in The Bus Stop the other day. I had already had lunch at Caliente, and noticed when I was walking to my car that this was a new place in a spot previously occupied by a law firm. It's right where the school buses line up during the afternoon, hence the name. It's owned by Brian Moylan who had Operations Manager David Brailley make me a CHOCO BUTTER Smoothie ($4), which was just like a Reese's peanut butter cup, except it was refreshingly cold. They serve espresso based beverages here, too, along with snacks (like pizza bread).
This internet cafe has "brawls" which are competitions on gaming platforms of Nintendo WII and Game Cube. A big tournament is set for November 29, with cash prizes being offered to contestants.
I really love eating a Sushi Ebisu - if you like Jazz, Fumi-san has got some sounds going on here - plus some amazing food! It really adds a special element to the ambiance to sit at the sushi counter, which is Fumi's work station.
Given that there are over 70 different items on Ebisu's menu, we like to try new things on our different visits. This time we had some old and some new. The old was the Salmon Carpaccio ($7). Nobody does better so it bears repeating.
We ordered the Maguro Salad ($8.50), which has seared sliced tuna pieces layered in a wooden bowl with butter lettuce, a pile of fried garlic chips, cucumber, shredded cabbage, and tomato. There is a balsamic vinaigrette dressing, and a lemon slice to squeeze on your tuna if you like.
We also had the Tori Karaage ($6), delicious morsels fried boneless chicken thigh meat served atop a bed of shredded cabbage garnished with sliced green onions. This was well-seasoned and truly an especially tasty appetizer I'd have this with a Carlsberg or Asahi anytime!
From the sushi roll category, I had the Caterpillar( $13), which is one of Ebisu's trademark American-style rolls. This has fresh avocado on top of barbecued unagi (eel), with crab meat in the center. It comes with kabayaki sauce that goes so well with the unagi. All of Ebisu's sushi rolls are excellent so it's really hard to have just one favorite as I could easily name five!
Our final dish was a new one, Nabeyaki Udon ($12), which has shrimp tempura, chicken, egg, and assorted veggies over udon noodles served in a hot oot. Wow, was this a treat! I was surprised we could still find room but we did with me doing the yeoman's work! Ebisu's Nabeyaki was true to their reputation for excellence. It is also a meal in and to itself, so you could easily be happy just having this for dinner, with maybe something else as an appetizer.
Domo-domo, Fumi-san! Oishi-desu!
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