August 19 , 2011, Volume 11 Number 15
Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
What an amazing past two weeks of travelling I've had! It's been a period of "first" times, including my first time to attend a High School Reunion which in this case was my 40th !!! It was held on August 6 in La Mesa, CA, and was attended by about 100 former classmates of Mt. Miguel High School in Spring Valley, CA.
It was also my first time to stay with my Uncle Calvin and Aunt Bernadyne Tucker in Los Angeles, who picked me up at Union Station (my first time to ever be there) after riding AMTRAK up from San Diego.
It was also my first time to attend my grandson Carl's birthday in Clarkston, WA, where I was able to spend precious time with the family there celebrating his 11th birthday. I also watched some episodes of GLEE, which was my first time seeing this fun and entertaining series.I totally understand why its popularity has spread so quickly.
It's great to be home and writing again. It's been quite a break in our newsletter schedule, the first time this has happened while I've travelled! As I said, it's been a period of "firsts"! I'm sure Life has many more in store for me in the years ahead!
Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"
GFG Hosts K57 "Tourism & You" Food Guy Show
Saturday August 20, 2011
Listen up this Saturday morning for the Guam Food Guy segment of K57's "Tourism & You" Show from 10am-Noon. Our first hour guests will feature Executive Chef Daniel Lenherr of the Westin Resort Guam and Robert "Bob" Raras, Westin's manager for taste restaurant.
In our second hour, we'll welcome Janiece Sablan of Shoreline Restaurant in Hagatna. Feel free to participate by calling *57 on your cell phone or 477-5757. I'm sure we are going to have a lively conversation and restaurants and food are things about which everyone has an opinion!
Fiesta Filipiniana Restaurant
Rt. 16 Harmon (across from Sunny Wholesale)
Hours 5am-3pm Monday-Friday
Some foods have to be eaten to be truly appreciated. That's how I feel about Filipino cuisine, which has some of the best home-cooked meals served in public! There are so many stews and soups that are wonderful comfort foods. That's why it's great to have choice and variety, such as the menu items you'll find at Fiesta Filipiniana Restaurant in Harmon.
Although I lunched there back on July 28, did not want to miss the opportunity to write about this quaint and busy eatery owned and operated by a hard-working local family. I first met one of the daughters, Alovedena Santos, when she was buying a chef coat at our uniform shop. She was a GCC Culinary Grad and had been in California. While I was lamenting the late and long hours I have to work, sometimes in the wee hours of the morning, she told me she could relate since her days typically begin between 1:30-2am which is when prep food for the restaurant, which starts feeding customers breakfast at 5am!
When I showed up at the restaurant unannounced for lunch, I ordered two soups, Chicken TInola and Pork Rib Sinigang, plus an order of the Chicken Adobo and a local favorite, Tortang Talong, a eggplant fritter or eggplant omelet. As this is a fast food hot line operation selling dishes by 1-choice ($4.75), 2-choice ($6.25) and 3-choice ($7.50), I was already at $12.25 for the food. I think the Calamansi juice took me up another $1.50 or $2. This is more than most would eat, but I wanted a good variety.
The hot wells had so many other items including Kaldereta, Krispy Pata, Menudo, Pinakbet, Pancit Guisado, Beef Steak, Lechon Kawali, Lumpia, Fried Tilapia, Fried Chicken, and Sweet and Sour Fish Filet. Other prepared specials are Palabok ($3.50), an orange-hued delicacy made from rice flour noodles topped with sliced boiled egg, crab sauce, shrimp, garlic and squid.
The dining room is fairly spacious and there is a TV tuned to a Filipino channel. Alovedena was out when I first arrived and when she came she was a bit surprised but happy I'd kept my word about coming. She introduced me to her mother Elsa.
I got some banana ketchup for my Tortang Talong and set to work on my soups. I had a little white rice and pancit, which was more flavorful than what I am accustomed to having.
I then met Alovedena's sister, Lahlah Santos, who is the proprietor. She told me to save some room for dessert. They have quite a selection of sweets including Sago'Gutaman, Buko Pandan, Banana con Yelo, and Melon Drink.
The house specialty is Halo Halo ($4), and that's what I ordered. Halo Halo translates as "mix mix", and is a traditional shaved ice dessert made with ice cream and varied ingredients, including macapuno (silky coconut), kaong (sweet palm fruit), langka (jackfruit), munggo (mungo beans), sweet ube (purple yam), mais (corn), nata de coco (coconut gelatin), sago (pearls), evaporated cream (soy milk as an optional substitute). What really surprised me when my Halo Halo was brought out to me was a critical ingredient that I'd not seen locally, only in the Philippines, and that was pinipig, which is toasted immature glutinous rice. Toasting gives it that pinipig crunch and adds a wonderful texture to this dessert! It was a work of art and I wanted to take a photo that would really showcase this refreshing delicacy. These are served in take-out containers which was convenient since I couldn't eat it all there anyway. I was so impressed with their Halo Halo that I immediately started to promote theirs as the best, and I've heard that folks have been dropping to try it as a result.
Fiesta Filipiniana Restaurant offers party trays for many Filipino and local foods. They need at least two days advance notice. Give them a call. You can stop by for an early morning Filipino breakfast if you are up there at 5am.
Don't forget to get the Halo Halo dessert sensation. They do it right!
1281 Bridge Street
Clarkston, Washington 99403
If you ever find yourself in Clarkston, Washington, located on the border of Idaho next to Lewiston (these towns are named after the famous explorers Lewis & Clark), you have to make it a point to stop by Fazzari's for their awesome pizza! I can't say for sure, but it's possible that pop star Joan Jett may have dined there when she held a concert last year in Clarkston. And, Myk Powell, formerly of K57 fame, told me he was just in Lewiston doing a comedy show a few weeks back. These places aren't as obscure as they sound, especially if people you know go there!
At Fazzari's , they don't do anything ordinary and they excel at making pizzas! They kind of put it best in their own words: "So just what is the secret of a fantastic pizza? That's easy. It's the tender homemade crust which is painstakingly produced daily. NO! It's the sauces, made lovingly on site using brands such as Stanislaus (which we consider the best in the biz). NO! It's the quality of the meats, such as Bonici and Columbus. NO! I's the fresh ground beef and our homemade Italian sausage. NO! It's the ample amounts of topping we put on each and every pizza! NOT QUITE!! The true answer is that there is no one secret to making a fantastic pizza...Everything is important and that is what we pay attention to. ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING!!"
Fazzari's was the destination for our first dinner together. My daughter Avril and her partner Cathlin said I'd love it and they were right. The grandkids, Emily, Rachel and Carl, all had their favorites which was kind of interesting since these all basically came together on one pizza of all things. It was called the Sampler, which is a single pie with four (!) topping combinations. It features the four hottest sellers - House Special, Shotsy, Taco and Hawaiian all on a 16" pie for $23.45. The House Special has a hefty offering of salami, pepperoni, black olives, mushrooms, beef and Italian sausage. The Taco has a luscious combination featuring black olives, onions, seasoned beef, shredded lettuce, cheddar cheese and tomatoes. The Shotsy offers mustard sauce, Swiss and Mozzarella cheeses, smoked Polish sausage, onions, and sauerkraut which, not surprisingly, tastes just like a fully-loaded Polish hot dog! The Hawaiian has a generous layers of ham and is topped with sweet pineapple tidbits. Since I don't like pineapple on my pizza, I passed on the Hawaiian and ate a slice of the Shotsy, Taco and House versions and was "blown away" by the quality of the mouth-fill experience. The fresh ingredients and huge topping portions were fantastic. I could see why these were so popular with their diners. This place was fully packed and pumping out a lot of food.
The other pizza we shared was the Bantam Special, which sports a healthy layer of ham, followed by Portuguese linguica and mushrooms (16"/$21.65). This was also an awesome pizza with bragging rights. I'm not used to seeing so much protein on pizzas, and these were lean and not greasy.
Fazzari's has wines and even some locally-brewed beers. I had Riverport Micro pale pilsner Pale pilsner that was pretty decent. In addition to the pizzas, Fazzari's also serves pasta dishes including Baked Lasagna, Spaghetti, Baked Rigatoni, Fettuccine, and Rotelle. They feature salads, Deli Sandwiches, and Italian Sandwiches.
Top L-R: Ken Stewart, Judy Stewart, Carl Snyder (grandson), Rachel Berreth
Bottom L-R: Avril Snyder (daughter), Cathlin Berreth (partner), Emilyl Berreth
I had been busy taking pictures of all the family members posing as couples or trios when a customer at a nearby table offered to take one of our group. It was a wonderful family photo, perfect for the archives, and I wanted to share this with you. Such was the high degree of happiness and satisfaction this holiday held for me beaming happy loving faces! That's the treasure of family!
Beaches Restaurant & Bar
I had to mention this special little restaurant experience located in the Portland Airport aka PDX. Actually, now that I think about, airports have really been upping their game when it comes to dining and putting out some really good eats for passengers about to take off. Houston has some of the best all around airport dining options. In fact, Cat Cora is about to open a restaurant there.
Anyway, back to PDX and why Beaches caught my attention. Well, the allure of the palm huts, thatched roofs, beach paraphernalia, surf boards, and music piqued my curiosity. I was seated at a round table with a center burning flame on lava rocks. It was warm but not too hot. (what ever hot food you ordered wouldn't chill down fast!!).
I ordered a glass of 14 Hands Merlot while awaiting my main entree, a grilled British Colombia Salmon ($16.99) basted with Basil Garlic Butter served with Jasmine rice. This was actually alright, though my salmon was cooked more than I usually prefer. Nonetheless, it still retained some good flavor and was well seasoned.
The menu at Beaches is huge, with sushi rolls, pizzas, pastas, steaks, burgers, stir fry bowls, fish & chips, salads and soups. They have a full bar and feature Mai Tais and other tropical drinks. It's an impressive establishment, with the ability to host small parties. It's located at the entrance to the TSA screening lines with take you to the gates. The servers are ever-present and quite competent. It just so happened that I mentioned to one of the managers, Scott, that I was from Guam when he said that the other manager, Normmed was from Guam, as well. In fact, there are a few others from Guam working with the company.
I met Normmed Gogo, Surfboard Waxer (what they call a manager!) and gave her the recent issue of Island Time Magazine, featuring me in a centerfold layout. She's been there for about five years having left Guam to take care of her father. We chatted for a while and she mentioned that radio personality Rick Nauta had been there and posed with her in a photo. It was neat meeting someone from Guam who is making their way in the Mainland.
If you ever get to PDX, stop by the Beach Shack and ask for Normmed.
You can find Guam Food Guy links and reviews at the following sites:
Also available on Your Docomo Pacific web-enabled phone