Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
As February winds down to its closing hours, we eagerly await the arrival of March so that we can join in on the festivities that occur during Chamorro Month! Biba Chamoru! Biba Guahan! What better way to kick off this month-long celebration than to start off with a new holiday! Yes, Monday is Guam History and Chamorro Heritage Day as proclaimed by Acting Governor Ray Tenorio! Keep your eyes and ears open for news about village happenings pertaining to Chamorro Month festivities and exhibitions. I know of one food competition usually held at Cost U Less Tamuning around the middle of the month where you can sample hot & spicy Kadon Pika. Among the things I look forward to is going to the bank branches and GovGuam offices (GPA & GWA) where you can see beautiful decorations commemorating Chamorro Month and highlighting our local culture. Too bad we can't celebrate Chamorro month all year long!
Ken, The Guam Food Guy!
While on Saipan last Friday, I noticed a large official announcement in the SAIPAN TRIBUNE stating that Shenanigans is now a licensed Certified Angus Beef restaurant! There was a color photo of a beautiful red juicy steak (I swear it was calling my name!) with words to the effect that Shenanigans (already renowned for their creative and delicious culinary creations) now was ensuring customers that they will only serve the best beef available on Saipan! If I wasn't in the mood for steak before, I definitely was craving one now!!
I invited my colleague and friend, Kuya-Ben Tabin to join me and hoped that we'd be able to meet up with Shenanigans' proprietor, Bel Busby, while having dinner. Well, the hope became a dream fulfilled when Bel not only greeted us, but joined us for dinner. Yes, we all had CAB Steaks! Ben ordered the Steak Peppercorn ($25.95) and both Bel and I had the T-Bone Steak ($25.95), which has an intoxicating mushroom demi-glace sauce. I had been thinking Italian earlier that day so I had a Linguine Alfredo with my steak. We all enjoyed her spicy tomato with corn tortilla soup before our entrees and shared a bottle of Woodbridge Merlot while we chatted away.
Bel was reveling in her new CAB licensure status as it comes during her four-year celebration of being open for business. As part of her anniversary they are donating 20% of special dinner sales for each Saturday of February to a worthy non-profit in need. The special dinner is priced at $50 and had two seatings - 6PM and 8PM. A special menu is being offered and Saturday, March 1 is the last Saturday for those who couldn't make the dinners during February. Call 233-8324 for more information and reservations. Before I forget, yes, the steaks were fabulous!! You get only the best at Shenanigans!!!
Big Boi's BBQ
Marine Corps Drive (former Burger King/Logan Farms Bldg)
If you didn't know, Big Boi's BBQ is definitely open for business and are open from 11a.m. - 3 p.m. and 5-10 every day. They have a wide range of offerings, with some rather Bodacious names or titles. The Barnyard Pimp is their marinated Chicken, The Fancy Pig is there chopped pork that's been smoked for 10 hours, their Big Sexy Ribs have been rubbed with founder Curt's special blend of spices, smoked for four hours, and slathered in your choice of several savory bbq sauces. One I particularly became very fond of was their O No U Didn't sauce, which has Caribbean heat from Jerk spices and a fruity sweetness from Mango. Some of the sandwiches are The Big Butt (chopped pork) for $8.99, which is the same price for their Killer Chicken sandwich. Big Boi's Backyard Brisket Love is $10.49.
I was able to sample some of their offerings when I ordered the Big Boi's Feast, where you can mix and match your favorite meats and add some sides. I got two sides with 1/2 slab ribs for $21.79. My sides included Uncle D's Sinful Mac (3 kinds of cheese), Down and Dirty Rice, Deep South Wedding Rings. With this order I had the Chicken, Backyard Brisket, and then I ordered the Smokehouse (Sliced Smoked Pork with one side - $11.99). For that side I believe I had the Cole Slaw. The meats had all been smoked and you can tell that they are pretty serious about their business. This is American style BBQ and the whole restaurant is kind of an American celebration, with lots of beer on tap and tv monitors making it a genuine sports bar. The food I ate was fairly decent considering they had just opened. They were still training staff and getting all of their routines down and tasks organized. I'm looking forward to my next foray into Big Boi's BBQ offerings. In the meantime, you go on down there and see what's awaiting you!
Adjacent to Flower House Aja and Central Bldg (home of Fusion Tavern)
Attention Ramen Lovers! Would you believe that Guam is the new home of a Michelin-rated ramen house? Yes, Misoya has opened its doors and is serving people their unique version and varieties of Miso ramen like you've not had before! Misoya is part of an international chain with locations in New York, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Montreal, Taipei, Bangkok and Tokyo! They've made it a point to carefully explain and educate diners about the health benefits of the soybean as well as they taste for the styles of the miso they serve. These styles and preparations are regional in Japan. For example, Kome Miso (Hokkaido Style), is the standard Japanese Miso with a full-bodied taste. Shiro Miso (Kyoto Style), has a fruity and natural taste. Finally, Mame Miso (Nagoya Style), has a taste with a bitter finish.
Misoya's menu serves each style of miso in a variety of ramen types including Cha-Shu Ramen, Ramen, Yasai Ramen (assorted vegetables), Spicy Ramen, and Kimuchi Ramen. Each entree has topping suggestions, such as miso-flavored egg, or green onion, for additional charges. Like other ramen shops, they offer add-on ingredient toppings (would you believe butter?) and additional charges for extra noodles and their special Pork Cha-Shu, which is marinated in their own special homemade Miso.
I had the Kome Miso Cha-Shu ramen ($11.90 w/miso flavored Egg - add $1.50). The ingredients include soybean paste and chicken soup (they make their soup stock everyday - it's fresh). There are 3 thick slices of char-grilled miso pork cha-shu on the top of this bowl! It is a very dramatic and powerful visual, and when you taste this pork it is absolutely delicious and tender. Other ingredients are ground pork, bean sprouts, green onion, corn and fried potato. It is a very busy ramen and challenges you to finish!!
Zee's Shiro Miso Yasai Ramen (assorted Vegetables - $9.90) came without the ground pork, but had plenty of bean sprouts, cabbage, carrots, onion, and green onion along with fried tofu. She enjoyed this and as you can tell from the photo, it has an entirely different broth. We both were ecstatic about the quality of the noodles! It was like we had eaten earlier in the month in Sapporo. I also ordered their Gyoza (6 pieces) which cost $4.95. These were also fresh and flavorful. I am looking forward to returning and trying their Chicken Karaage with Miso Mayonnaise, as well as their Spicy Miso Mini Cha-han.
We did have a chance to meet with Yu Furukawa, Area Manager for North & Latin America for Misoya Ramen. He's here working with local partners Charles McAlister and Keiko Nishida who have envisioned this high quality authentic ramen experience for Guam. You can expect more great things to come from this Misoya Ramen adventure on Guam!
Java Hut Coffee Shop
I'd been stopping by Java Hut Coffee Shop on weekends with Zee off and on for some time, however, recently we began to taste the difference in their espresso-based beverages. They are doing amazing things at Java Hut by serving the ultra premium Illy brand of coffee and are also using Monin syrups. Zee was happy one morning to order the red orange San Pellegrino sparkling fruit beverage with her Tofu Spinach Wrap ($7.95). I had the Breakfast Deluxe ($7.95) on the same day. This has 3 fluffy pancakes, eggs the way you like them, and bacon or sausage. It's a pretty decent meal for me and it comes with a regular coffee. They take great pride in garnishing their dishes as they are served. Sometimes I eat the garnish!
I went for a late lunch on Thursday afternoon and ordered the Tuna Melt Panini ($5.95) on a multi-grain sandwich, a Chicken Cheese Quesadilla ($6.95) with a Java Hut salsa on the side - this salsa's awesome, made with a little Italian dressing. I also ordered the Chicken Curry Salad ($8.25) and a Deli Wrap (ham and turkey - $6.95) with a spinach wrap.
To drink, I was at a loss, so Samantha suggested I have the Rox Blend ($5.50) Frappe. I am not usually a Frappe kind of guy, however, this Rox Blend was pretty darned tasty with 2 shots of espresso and chocolate syrup and whipped cream (all the bad things that are so good)!.
As I ate and played with my iPad (they have great Wi-Fi here), I began to see why so many people liked coming here during the weekday to eat, drink, and relax in this comfortable haven of a cafe. There is something very inviting and welcoming about this place. Must be the magical inspiration of owner Rubyjane Buhain-Redila. She's a special entrepreneur and has a commitment to excellence, in the ingredients of her food and the quality of her service.
The Tuna Melt Panini was actually very tasty and something I'd have again. Same for the Chicken Cheese Quesadilla. The chicken breast in the Chicken Curry Salad was ample and well-seasoned - a mild curry that worked well with the dressing on the fresh greens. They seemed to have worked out their flavor combinations quite well. My Deli Wrap was also a winner for me, with just the right balance of ham, turkey, and cheese, along with an unusual Asian vinaigrette sauce that really worked the fresh veggies (carrots, red onions, bell peppers, and green leaf lettuce). It was fresh inside and out.
There's food and beverages for everyone's preference here at Java Hut Coffee Shop. Check out their specials on their menu board when you go there. I'm glad to have them in my neighborhood. Who knows, I might even take up riding my bike here!
Ken the Guam Food Guy