Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
Wow, what a week it has been! If you have been able to get a bag or two of ice in the past few days since Typhoon Chataan slammed our tropical paradise last week, then you are indeed fortunate! Thank goodness that most of Guam's restaurants have been able to stay open to take care of so many hungry appetites craving for hot food and chilled beverages to drink to satisfy that need for refreshment! I feel especially blessed not to have suffered any personal damage or loss of property (other than all the foodstuffs requiring refrigeration). We all were fortunate that no one died from typhoon-related injuries. We are a stalwart bunch, true island "survivors"! Like most of you, I have been able to visit many local eateries to enjoy air-conditioning, electrical lights and food cooked by someone else - what a relief! These are a few things we take for granted, and truly appreciate now that they are in short supply. It makes you really value daylight, air, and water! I don't want to talk too much about "ice", since it is the singular most frustrating part of our daily existence. It's hard to believe that Steve Dormer's Best Water & Ice business was "mobbed" by people desperate for ice, so hard-pressed that they jostled him and his staff to the point where they had to close their store to maintain order! That's sad....so his ice is only available for medical emergencies and doctor-approved requests, and he's giving it away at no charge for these needs.
Just when we thought we were out of the woods and recovery was progressing we were approached by yet another typhoon (Halong), which brushed us with winds but still held the island hostage and delayed restoration.
(A big thanks from the guamdiner.com staff and myself to the Hagan's family who allowed us into their hotel room to compose and compile our e-zine. I am thankful to Natasha, who's iBook has tested my key-boarding skills! It is a perfect laptop for this kind of communication. We hope to be back to our regular format next week.)
* Restaurant Update: Where To Eat During and After the Typhoons
There are more places to eat than I can list in this message, and though you may have your favorites that I didn't mention, I can tell you that any restaurant that had power and water, and wasn't damaged by the typhoon, was doing "gangbuster" business! Here are some highlights of dining before and after the storms:
Jan Z's: Just before Chataan hit Guam, we went to Jan Z's for breakfast and had their Ham Steak and Eggs and Steak & Eggs breakfast plates. We ordered their pancakes - one blueberry and the other plain. Both were humongous - filling the 10" plate and about 3/4 inch thick. These were delicious, and the has browns were exceptional - crisp without any greasiness. The ham steak was gigantic and had a fresh pork flavor. The New York Steak was smothered in mushrooms and sauteed onions, and had been seasoned to bring out mouthfuls of flavor. It was a lot of food to eat!
Eating at King's is an island tradition, and they stayed open during Chataan from what I'd heard. When eating breakfast at the GPO location, there was no water so plastic plates, utensils, and glasses were used. People were grateful to be able to eat...I had my favorite Macadamia nut pancakes. Later, we went to the Compadres Mall location for an omelette and a Mahi sandwich - there was a large fillet of mahi in this sandwich and it was both fresh and moist. We asked for ice water to go and received large styrofoam glasses. Thanks King's!
T.G.I.F. Friday's :
Friday's is a terrific place for lunch! The Friday's Burger is a must if you like burgers...red onion, tomato, pickles, fresh lettuce, real cheddar cheese, and a sesame bun. The hamburger patty is more like a slab and is cooked to order. It's great eating! They had freshly made mushroom soup for this special as well as a refillable beverage - with all those fries it was a good value(quality and quantity) for $9.75. The Teriyaki Chicken breast sandwich is also on the lunch specials menu, and it was comparable in value.
Island Favorites & American Standards at Denny's
Denny's "Only On Guam" Menu is a tribute to the people of Guam...I was really impressed by the menu considerations and treatments given to local cuisine. If you've not yet seen this menu, check it out since it contains things beyond the extensive traditional menu items typical to Denny's. The Tap'a The Morning was one such meal that I ordered. Born in the Philippines, this meal consists of marinated beef that is grilled and served with your choice of rice or hash browns. I opted for the free fried rice substitution. The fried rice "bouquet" is a sweet rice that is fluffy and not sticky, and filled with chunks of ham and vegetables. Pretty good. The Tap'a the Morning is priced a $5.65. The eggs I had were scrambled a little too hard for my preference. The meat was perfect...and there was plenty of it!
The Island Slam was my partner's choice - it had Spam, Portuguese Sausage, and Tapa, along with two eggs and fried rice bouquet. It was a local meat lover's dream meal, and priced at $6.65.
The Pride of Guam meal has tender Parrot Fish with eggs - for $6.50. I noticed a customer eating milkfish that was fried and accompanied by two eggs and fried rice...it looked quite appealing!
For dinner the night before I had the Stir Fry Chop Steak and Fried Chicken ($8.95). I needed the garlic and marinated beef and vegetables, and was talked out of cooking this myself. They have other Stir Fry Sensations on their Only on Guam Menu...I think all of them are popular with locals.
One of the great things about the Denny's location in the Micronesia Mall (the other location is in Tamuning next to Atkins Kroll) is that they have Humphrey Yogart frozen treats! You can have a large assortment of flavor combinations, with fruit, cookies, nuts, and candies. This is a splendid frozen yogurt concept, and I don't think many of us realize the quality and variety of pleasures a frozen yogurt dish can bring - either as a shake, smoothie, or a dessert cup.
For the frazzled nerves of the frenetic food reviewer, Denny's offers a real fun and exciting thrill - Power Rings! At the behest of my companion, our server had delivered a cup of these Power Rings, known as Nature's Building Blocks! This kept my mind busy and I created an art piece...for a while it took my mind completely off the ravages of Typhoon Chataan and not having ice! Denny's brought much relief and satisfaction to me and many other residents of Guam!
The Guam Food Guy