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June 22, 2012, Volume 12 Number 12

Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

It's been a hard two weeks for me as I've been battling a rather persistent and pernicious flu. I did finally relent and gave into an antibiotic regimen after trying to brave it out with time, rest, and juices. It has taken its toll on my energy and ability to make the rounds, so please bear with me during this recovery.

Today's newsletter will be slightly abbreviated, however, you can expect our full edition when we return in July. Take care of your health...your life is the only one you have!

Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"

Roy Yamaguchi Returns To Guam! June 20 - 24
6-10 PM
Roy's Restaurant
Hilton Guam Resort & Spa
646-DINE (3463)

Treat yourself to original culinary creations by the master himself, Roy Yamaguchi, who is once again gracing our island with his presence. Yes, we are indeed extremely lucky to have this living legend on Guam wowing us with his trademark Hawaiian Fusion cuisine, especially when you consider that Guam is one of 31 locations around the world! There are 23 in the continental United States and 6 restaurants in Hawaii, with the final two locations in Japan and Guam. You may not tell it from how approachable and humble this gracious man is, but he is a bona fide celebrity chef who has a globally-recognized brand. For Roy, it's all about using fresh local ingredients to create tantalizing original dishes accentuating textures, flavors, and bright colors.

Among the special a la carte items you can expect to enjoy during the promotion are Lobster Dumplings with Vadouvan Curry Sauce; Pork Belly on Baby Frisee, Haricot Vert, Radicchio, White Anchovy, Radishes, Candied Walnuts; Sous Vide Wagyu New York Wasabi Yuzu, Haricort Vert, Roasted Vegetables and many more. Entrees start at $29.00. From June 20 - 22, a six-course gourmet menu created and presented by Chef Roy will be featured from 6-10 PM. Reservations are highly recommended.

Grumpy's Cure
ParaOceana Business Center 1F

Well, if you've not been cured yet, you will certainly find one at Grumpy's Cure, touted as the "best little coffee house on Guam"! Open Monday - Saturday from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m., Grumpy's Cure had its grand opening on June 21st ! Don't feel bad if you missed it (like I did), you can always celebrate any weekday from 3- 7 p.m. by enjoying Grumpy's Frappe Hour when you get 50% off on a variety of frappes!!

When you first walk into Grumpy's Cure you are immediately taken in by the modern, sophisticated ambiance, complete with eye-catching art pieces and an impressive collection of hardcover tomes filling bookshelves in a corner "library"! You will even wonder if you are still on Guam or if you just woke up in San Francisco! It's obvious that a great deal of care has been invested in seeing that a cozy, welcoming atmosphere awaits guests who drop in for a mocha or crepe or any combination of items from a very impressive menu of delectable offerings! Owner Diedre Leon Guerrero has spent weeks refining this menu with many of her own recipes and creations. She is determined to see this new business venture succeed, and even attended the Seattle Barista Academy to learn the fundamentals of making the perfect espresso beverage.

On a recent visit when I was accompanied by Zee, we came in on a Saturday morning for breakfast. I should first mention that I'd briefly visited Grumpy's back in early April when I had my first taste! I had the Good Morning Guam Savory Crepe($6.95), which was a very sizeable crepe filled with Scrambled Eggs and Ham, with Sauteed Onions and Swiss Cheese. It had a light aioli sauce on the outside. I did have a Mocha($4 for 16 oz.) then, however, my lasting impression was how massive this crepe was, and that it actually tasted pretty good.

Fast forward to our recent visit, I noticed the menu had Hamburger Sliders($4.95) and since I'd already ordered another breakfast dish (Blueberries & Cream French Toast Sandwich-$5.75) without meat, I thought it was a good idea to get some protein that I could also share with Zee, who is more of a Slider aficionado than I am. Grumpy's Sliders are actually among the better ones we've had. Their mini burger(you get 3) have pickles, ketchup and mayo. (You can make it a Combo for $7.50,which includes an Iced Tea and a bag of chips or cookie.) It's all ground beef and everything worked well. The only improvement would have been a little more heat, just a tad. We will definitely have these again!

My main dish was something I had seen on a sign and immediately desired. A Blueberries & Cream French Toast Sandwich! Now how cool does that sound? It has everything I love going for it, kind of like a manage a trios, n'est pas? Well, this was one surprising dish, since it was layered and filled with a blueberry cream sauce. It did have real blueberries and the whipped cream was delicious. My only suggestion to improve this was to have it dipped in the batter a little longer as my bread was a bit dry. Mind you, I was eating without using the syrup since I had that great cream and blueberry sauce. (The syrup seemed redundant!) I did tell Diedre and she will make some adjustments. Zee had ordered a Grilled Cheese Panini ($6.95) that was so big that she could only eat half! The foccacia bread was a perfect partnering with the Swiss cheese, and it comes with a zesty dill pickle spear! She was generally pleased with her choice and would have been happier if this sandwich had some kind of aioli sauce to kick it up a bit.

Grumpy's also serves super-sized all beef hot dogs, Veggie Paninis(with sauteed mushrooms, tomatoes, black olives, lettuce, provolone), Peanut Butter & Jelly Paninis, Sweet Crepes, Bagels, and specials like Grumpy's Baked Pasta with Garlic Bread. Grumpy's has fresh baked pastries, cupcakes, and banana bread. You can even get real fruit smoothies at Grumpy's along with Italian sodas, and Soda floats. If you really want to satisfy a craving, try Grumpy's Ice Cream Sundae, complete with sliced bananas, chocolate or caramel sauce, whipped cream and nuts! That should do it!!

Feeling grumpy from being neglected? Don't worry, Grumpy's Cure will satisfy your cravings and make you better again!

Jamaican Grill
Chamorro Village - Hagatna - 472-2000
Tumon - Across PIC - 647-3000
Dededo Mall - Dededo - 633-3000

If you would have told me 10 years ago that Jamaican Grill would be selling Fried Parrot Fish, I wouldn't believe you! If you were to tell me that Jamaican Grill would have expanded from its Chamorro Village location to one in Tumon and to its largest location in the Dededo Mall, I would have thought you were crazy! Guess I would have been wrong in both scenarios! Yet I know I'm right when I say that Jamaican Grill has done more than just expand their locations, they have quadrupled the number of items served on their menu! Just take a look at how big their menu is! They started out with Jerk Chicken and Ribs and Fish(tuna or mahi). Anyway, I am just thrilled with how well Tim and Frank have done, and for sharing their dream with many people who are now making a living from what they started back in the day!

We stopped by the Tumon store the other night and though I'd originally wanted the Fried Jerk Parrot Fish($14.95), I decided on the "Jerk" Burger($9.50). I also wanted to try one of their new appetizer additions, the Original "Jerk" Adobo Ribs($5.95 half size), which we'd had before and I wanted to sample again. I really like the way they've blended and simmered the Filipino adobo flavors with their jerk seasonings to arrive at a completely different and savory hybrid rib. It's a fair sized portion for two to share.

The "Jerk" Burger features two 1/4-lb. "Jerk" -seasoned ground beef patties topped with Cheese, grilled onion and tomato. (yes, the tomato is grilled too!). This is served on a freshly grilled onion bun that's got a pile of shredded lettuce on the top. You get a choice of fries or chips, as well as a choice of mayo(Plain, Horseradish, or Curry). I went for the Curry mayo, but in a side dish. When asked for my meat temperature, I opted for Medium. When it arrived, it was Medium Well. This wasn't fatal, and I just added more curry mayo to lubricate the meat. Nevertheless, I did satisfy my craving for their Jerk Burger, though it would have been better had it really been cooked closer to medium.

Zee had ordered her Fried Jerk Parrot Fish. She ordered a "Pika" Vegetable Salad($3.50), which was something I tasted and realized it was a bit too strong for my taste about "pika"!! It's a spicy, vinegary blend of onions, carrots, and cucumber with chili pepper sauce that's tart and fiery! You have to be ready for the rush!!

The Fried Jerk Parrot Fish is best described by Zee as "catnip"! I don't know whether it's the light jerk spice or the special oil they use to fry this fish in, but whatever it is, it's a darned good fish! Zee had fried tortillas with her fish in lieu of rice or fries. She shared a few pieces with me(I was so grateful!!). This is one of their new homeruns!

Our server, Tamara, managed to talk us into a new dessert made by the good folks over at Sweet Relief exclusively for our "Ya Mon" friends, called Triple Chocolate Coconut Cake($6.00). This is made with chocolate rum cake(couldn't really taste the rum), chocolate coconut mousse, and chocolate ganache topped with shredded toasted coconut. This is a huge dessert and we were unable to stop eating it until it was gone. Thanks, Tamara!!

Chowon Restaurant
DNA Plaza (Near Cost-U-Less)

Chowon Restaurant is becoming more and more a local favorite for those looking for a flavorful home-style Korean dining experience. I like to use the word "clean" when I describe Chowon because it is small and really has a bright, relaxing ambiance. It is usually filled with Korean customers, so you know you are getting the real deal when you are eating here.

If like me you are feeling the effects of a cold or flu, I can recommend a good soup available at Chowon. It's their Kal-Bi Soup with Egg( $11.99). It comes with rice and panchan(side dishes). This Kalbi soup reminds me of a good Chamorro kadu(beef shank soup) in that the rich beef broth is created from simmering the beef bones for a long time. It's got a heartiness that revitalizes. There are some good sized chunks of tender beef still clinging onto small rib bones. I put one on my rice bowl to show you its size. Believe me, these bones were blanched when I got through - delicious to the last bite! If you want a spicier soup, try the Spicy Beef Soup with Egg($11.99).

Mac & Marti
Blue Lagoon Plaza

Talk about a place where I've been conspicuously absent! I should feel guilty, but now I know that someone's looking out for me because if I had free rein to eat at Mac & Marti everyday for lunch or dinner, I would probably be twice my current over-grown size!! Earlier in May I stopped in at the behest of owner Art Paguio and sat down only to be astonished at what Art had been alluding to all along about his new menu creations. In fact, I'm inclined to agree with their own assessment at the top of their menu that claims they've got "the most unique variety of Specialty Burgers and Sandwiches in Tumon!"

So, I bellied up to the bar a little past one-ish for a late lunch and ordered the Mac & Marti Burger($11.50 -their signature burger), which is made with a full half-pound of ground sirloin specially seasoned to enhance the taste. This huge Sirloin burger is loaded with sauteed mushrooms, jalapenos, onions, bacon and either American or Swiss Cheese. I did the American cheese, and had onion rings. These are awesome onion rings, by the way, and when I got a look at that monster of a burger, I took a deep breath and dove in! Okay, yes, it was definitely a contender in the best burger battle! But wait-- this burger's got siblings! You can get a Texas Burger, Bacon Wrap Burger, "Shroom Swiss Burger" Blue Cheese Burger, Inside Out Burger, Hafa Adai Burger, Beck's Burger, Bacon Ranch Burger, Philly Cheese Burger, Heart Stopper, and Pizza Burger!

Other sandwich and food eats available include Mac's Deli Trio, Mac-anini(Their Panini), Club, Mac's Monte Cristo, Grilled Reuben, Meat Ball Sandwich, Spicy Buffalo Sandwich, Fish & Chips, Calamari, Nachos, Quesadillas, Cheese Poppers, and Wings (Glorious Wings!!). Yes, Art was braggin' on his Wings so now I've got to get back down their and sample their wings. I've got plenty of choices at Mac & Marti's. Their selection includes the Original Spicy Buffalo, Firecracker Wings, Bloody Mary Cajun Spiced, Italian Parmesan, Asian Sesame, Lemon & Pepper Wings, Honey BBQ, and Salt & Pepper(their only "naked" wings, seasoned with salt & pepper and cooked on the crispy side)! That's how we like 'em!

So, as you can see fellow foodies, I have my work cut out for me! Let's get to Mac & Marti and do some serious eating! Anyone care to join?

Bon Appetit!
Ken the Guam Food Guy

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