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November 1, 2013, Volume 13 Number 20

Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

Hello November!!!

I am so absolutely thrilled and relieved that it is the first of November!! There's no special connotation for the date (it is not an anniversary or birthday), though it has extra special significance for me! It is the day that my aircon will be installed in my apartment (have not had aircon since returning from Bangkok on 13 October!). My life will begin to normalize and I will finally be rid of living in a 'sauna'!! I shouldn't complain so much, after all, my cat Rudy doesn't get to drive in an air-conditioned car nor go to an air-conditioned office (where I'm composing this newsletter on early Friday morning). For this newsletter I will keep things local and not write about my Thailand adventure until after I "unpack" my suitcases (which have been in air-conditioned storage) during my hot ordeal). We had a marvelous time and will even give some insights into some of the delights we can expect to experience at the new Dusit Thani Guam Resort.

I've only got a few hours left to write so let's get this newsletter done!

Ken, the Guam Food Guy

Mai Thai Cuisine
Hafa Adai Exchange (across from AK and down from the Curry Kebab)
Hours: 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Daily

We had been meaning to stop by Mai Thai for a few months now and waited until we returned from Bangkok to try it out. We did and were for the most part quite impressed. One notable thing about this restaurant's ambiance is authenticity of its furniture. The lacquered heavy wood tables and chairs set an immediate impression that's reinforced by soothing Thai music playing in the background. Owned by a trio (we met Billy Ray and Preeya Nuchy, but not Kaeo), we arrived when things were not very busy and were able to chat with Billy about the how the restaurant had been steadily growing since opening. They have a very large menu (if not one of the largest), and they seem to have some marketing savvy (the tagline on their sign brazenly claims "You haven't had Thai until you've had Mai Thai"!) They are also partnered with "GOOD TO GO" home/office meal delivery.

We ordered our beverages; Zee had water and I had a Thai Iced Tea ($3.00) which was properly made. We ordered the Vegetarian Spring Rolls ($8.00) as an appetizer. They came served in a little boat dish with sweet chili sauce in a well in the 'stern' of the boat. There were 8 pieces of golden fried spring rolls. We both took our first bite and heard and felt the crisp crunch of the wrapper as we bit through the roll. These were very good, filled with slivered carrots, mushrooms, cabbage, and rice noodles. They were not greasy (they'd rested on a bed of cabbage allowing some grease to settle).

Zee's Vegetarian Panang ($12.00) arrived with panache looking like a golden stew on a white leaf, with coconut milk lines and red bell pepper slices shimmering through. This was served with steamed white rice and was quite aromatic. We didn't order too spicy, but were given some peppers to add to our food if we wished. The Panang was excellent - not overly sweet but strongly spiced with a richly balanced taste. Though it was meatless, it was as tasty as if it had meat.

It had been a few years since I had the Ho Mok Talay (Seafood Curry - $15.00), which is usually served in a coconut shell. This is a spicy seafood curry that has mint leaves and Chinese cabbage in a coconut milk blend. It is served wrapped in foil and is like a stuffing that's filled with shrimp, squid, and some fish. It is richly flavored and could adequately feed 3 people.

The last entree I ordered was the Phad Ka Proa ($10.00) with minced chicken, stir-fried onions, bell peppers, hot chilies and basil. I had this the way I love it, Thai-style, with a fried egg on top. It was beautifully presented and had all the colors and ingredients one would expect. The problem was that the basil wasn't very aromatic or pronounced (it usually jumps off the plate!). This may be due to the heavy rains we've had. The portion was more than adequate for 2 people.

I had hoped to stop back by Mai Thai again to try a few other dishes prior to writing this review. I'll have to get back later! With their opening hours it'll be easy to find the time and day to make this happen!

Thursday Nights - 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Taste - Ground Floor
Westin Resort Guam

Wow! All you can eat Steak and Lobster?!! Really??? No kidding?!! When I looked at one of the Asian ladies plate piled high with prawns, lobster tails, clams, oysters, and rock crab, I marveled at how much seafood she could physically pile on a small plate! She didn't seem to care about the steaks!! They offered rib eye and sirloin steak, as well as ground beef patties for those wanting a hamburger experience. The price of this buffet is $40.00 for adults, plus a 10% service charge. The SPG card privileges offers a great value for couples!

The live cooking station is where one of the cooks works the teppan grill and manages to keep several piles of food cooking. The Ribeye and Sirloin are both quality cuts of beef and very flavorful as well as tender. I had mine cooked medium rare and they were seasoned with garlic and about rich!!! I also had a few lobster tails and two prawns. There were also several hot food items in the warming chafers that were waiting to jump on your plate. The southern fried chicken was a definite surprise and as tasty as any of the good fried chicken I've had here. They also had baked spare ribs with mango salsa, jambalaya, lasagna, sliced corned beef, stewed clams, beef stew, sauteed basa filet, chili con carne, chicken fajitas, and a real savory tortilla soup.

This buffet has free-flowing Heineken, however, I could only drink one since I had to write later! The coffee was excellent with my cookies, chocolate cream puff, and fruit tarts. Zee made due with all the salad ingredients and had two helpings of that delicious tortilla soup. She also made a burrito that seemed to satisfy her appetite.

I was wondering how I would ever be able to eat a little of everything they served! There was simply too much food! Come down to taste at the Westin and see what everyone has been raving about! Reservations are recommended.

McKraut's Fast Food & Beer Garden
Rte 4

In case you missed the OKTOBERFEST Celebration at McKraut's, there is still an opportunity to enjoy some of the OKTOBERFEST Special creations. We did such a good job of describing it last year we thought we'd quote a portion: "It's already OKTOBERFEST at McKraut's Fast Food & Beer Garden in sunny, idyllic Malojloj (pronounced "Mah Low Low")! Located way down south from Jeff's Pirate's Cove, you won't miss this place --- it's grown from a quaint road-side stand to a full-fledged building complete with has to be one of the largest private developments on Route 4! Since the owner, Ludwig "Lutz" Uhmeyer, is German, he's celebrating his native homeland's most popular festival, OKTOBERFEST, in a very special way. In addition to serving an awesome variety of German beers on tap (and by the bottle), he has donned his Lederhose (German breeches - real men do wear leather!!) and has cooked up two Oktoberfest specials that will only be available during the weekends in October (starting this weekend, too).

Well, that was last year and this year he introduced some new items (we only had two of the four that he created). I ordered the Halbe Hend'l (Half Roast Chicken) Green Peas and Hot German Potato Salad ($10.75) and Zee had the Kartofflepuffer (4 Potato Pancakes), Apple Sauce and sour cream - $9.00. We were there on a Sunday afternoon and this place has become amazingly popular. It is actually hard to get a table and we were lucky to get two seats at the bar. Fortunately our friend, Heidi and Rolf Meyer (Tower of London owners) were there so we had a grand time talking stories and drinking beer while awaiting our dishes. These were both quite good, however, I was probably the most satisfied.

Two other new entrees were the Sauerbraten in Burgundy Raisin Sauce (Red Cabbage and Spaetzle) - $13.95, and the Rumpsteak (12 oz. Black Angus Rib Eye) Grilled to perfection with Fried Onion, Baked Beans, Spinach and Mashed Potatoes ($18.95).

Lutz informed us that he would still have the ingredients to make some of these specials on request beyond October. He may even add them to his German Entree menu as he did the popular Bavarian Goulash and the belly busting Roast Smoked Pork Knuckle with Sauerkraut and Mashed Potatoes. Of course he will continue to sell his Smoked Bratwurst in Loaf Basil Bread, with Dijon Mustard, Salad and Fries ($7.75), along with his family of burgers and lesser dogs. If you are free and able to go down during the weekdays, you won't have to worry about fighting the weekend crowds. You'd also be able to spend time chatting with Lutz and listening to his boisterous deep laugh while sharing a beer. "Zum Wohl"!!!

Chesa Guam
Rte 10 (located across the Old Pizza Hut)

Hours: 6 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Mondays - Thursdays
6 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. - Fridays
10 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. - Saturdays
Closed on Sundays

This is a little overdue in reporting as I stopped by Chesa Guam on September 17 and was very taken by the tasty, satisfying and delicious foods I'd eaten there. Chesa Guam is probably only about 3 months in business and yet, there's been an amazing buzz about this place. They serve breakfast plates and lunch plates during the weekdays, sell kelaguen, coffee and Bubble Tea! They also sell some wicked Donne Dinanche. Their Kadon Pika won 1st Place in the Donne Festival's Kadon Pika Competition. I've got to try this as I love kadon pika!

Chesa Guam is owned by Kinney Blas and is managed by his sister Cheryl. I met Cheryl during my lunchtime visit and she told me that their family is related to the Blas family that owned and operated the legendary Kinney's Cafe in Mangilao. Their prices are really reasonable as everything seems to be geared for Take-Out, however, there are some tables in a dining room where those who have time can eat.

I ordered a few different items that were available (it was Tuesday and each day has specials). Tuesday featured Smoked Beef with Red Rice and Salad ($7.50), Kadu (call for Special) ($7.00), and BBQ Chicken w/Red Rice and Salad ($6.50). Kadon Pika is the featured special for Wednesday!

The smoked beef (tinala katne) was good and even better with my little container of donne dinanche. I can't imagine a world without donne dinanche! There are so many people in love with fina dene, and they should be! I'm glad I can love both! The BBQ Chicken was good (I ate some of these and took the remainder to the office to share with staff). I was given a shrimp kelaguen to sample and I can tell you it was one you need to try if you see it in the refrigerated display case.

The main feature for me and what I ate totally by myself with not a drop left over was the beef kadu, which was made like an estufao but with coconut milk. It had long beans, a little cabbage, green onions, and tender beef shank meat. This was so very good and I considered this comfort food on the highest level! They also had pickled cucumber salad and steamed rice, and if you wanted, you could add some donne dinanche to this too!

I have to admit that I feel a little guilty coming here since Zee now eats vegetables all she'd be able to get here is bubble tea and I said...I just feel a "little guilty"! Come to Chesa Guam and taste what the buzz is all about!

Gof mange !

Ken the Guam Food Guy

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