Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
Happy July! This is one of the "happier" months for celebrating since we have both Independence Day on the 4th and Liberation Day on the 21st! There is a lot of ground to cover in this newsletter so I will cut to the chase and get right into the content! Enjoy!
Ken the Guam Food Guy
4th Annual GVB Block Party A Resounding Success!
BBQ Competition Winners Announced
It came and it went...the streets were empty, then overflowing with people and filled with smoking grills...then empty after it was over! it was a fantastic party...a carnival, with fun and entertainment for everyone! I don't know what the estimated count was for attendance, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were 8,000 people in Tumon, and maybe more if you consider people coming and going. I never saw the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest and heard it was fun! I did see the antique classic cars and some cool motorcycles. I even got me one of them "must-have" Smoked Turkey Legs from Guam BBQ Company, the most popular booth with people lining up for over an hour to get one of those bad boys!!
I spent most of my time in a judging room for the BBQ Competition. Below are the official results showing the winners in each of the three categories:
1. OHANA HAWAIIAN BBQ
3. GUAM BBQ COMPANY
1. TEAM MESKLA
3. OHANA HAWAIIAN BBQ
2. TEAM MESKLA
GRAND CHAMPION: GCC
Congratulations to our Grand Champion, Team GCC members Chef Paul Kerner and Philip Lopez, a GCC Culinary Arts student.!
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Opens in Garapan, Saipan
Garapan, Saipan (Across from I Love Saipan)
I had the pleasure of dining at the new Bubba Gump Shrimp Company this past Wednesday night. It was a most impressive experience! I will be writing a fuller review soon but wanted to get a few images from the other night posted. This is definitely a superb dining option for local residents and visitors to Saipan...it is the new destination dining hotspot on Saipan! It is a brilliant franchise concept and really immerses guests in the whole Forest Gump phenomena that dominated the mid 90's. The menu is chockfull of shrimp inspired entrees and appetizers and the quality of the food gets high marks. The service staff are well-trained and will surprise you with the enthusiastic personalities as they interact with you at your table (look forward to fun trivia quizzes!). Yes, I will go back!
New Restaurants Coming to a Neighborhood Near You!
The BUZZ is Real!! Yes, it is true that a 2nd MESKLA DOS location will soon be opening in the heart of Pleasure Island. This is in the former Port of Mocha just in front of Rotary Sushi. This is a very smart decision by the Meskla team since they are expanding their reach by taking their awesome burger line-up closer to where the foot traffic - proving that Location is one of the keys to success.
Another restaurant concept that will soon open is Hot Chicken & Ribs, located in Tamuning where the old Mosa's Joint was located. There is nothing like it on Guam! Inspired by the famous Hattie B's Hot Chicken in Nashville, Tenn., this restaurant will have original food, with their own hot sauce creations (at different temperature/spice levels). The ribs will be fried and everything will be made to order. Take Out will definitely be one of their strengths. Hot Chicken & Ribs is a collaboration of great talents, with Meskla Chef Owner, Peter Duenas, partnering with brother Bryan of Poki-Fry House fame. The portions and chicken pieces (legs, thighs, and breasts) will be big so people will be getting their money's worth. This restaurant could open within the month of July. This is exciting because I've been to Hattie B's and I love hot & spicy! Guam is making huge leaps in expanding our dining options!!
Godfather's Bar Serves the Ultimate BLT
I have always been a BLT (Bacon, Lettuce, & Tomato) lover and have been mostly disappointed when I see a BLT on a menu and then try it. For me, it's a matter of "seeing is Believing" and that's actually what happened while I was imbibing at Saipan's most famous watering hole (I didn't say notorious)!
I watched this sandwich delivered to a gentleman (Richard Miller) next to me at the bar counter and I asked if this was a BLT. He said yes, and that he usually would take half home because it was so big. He had his with white bread and I ordered one using toasted wheat bread. For $8.00, you will not get a better BLT! The bacon they use is thick and meaty with a nice smoked flavor. It seems as though there is a pound of bacon in this huge sandwich! The tomatoes are perfectly red and sweet, and the lettuce is crisp...but it really is all about that Bacon!! Godfather's has a pretty decent menu selection for a bar...their tasty tacos have received rave reviews! I don't know if I'll have the opportunity to eat my way through their menu...but I would hope to have that BLT at least one more time!!
Lago Cafe Restaurant Launches New Menu features
Leo Palace Resort Guam
Manenggon Hills, Yona
471-0001- Ext 7190
There are some interesting things going on at the Leo Palace Resort and in particular in the Lago Cafe, where I just happened to be having my lunch on the day of the great GVB BBQ Block Party. I found out that they had just launched their new menu (a project led by new arrival Chef Donn Gueniot). There are a few intriguing appetizers like the Homemade Mozzarella Sticks (I LOVE FRIED CHEESE with A GREAT MARINARA), Chicken Quesadilla, Nachos, Honey BBQ Wings, as well as a few appealing salads - the COBB looks awesome and there is a traditional Caesar. I had my eye on the Seasoned Tuna Salad, but then I noticed something next to these gargantuan burgers - it was a "LOCO MOCO" but not just any loco moco. It was a Curry Loco Moco - $13.50. It is a special blend of ground beef (8 oz.), that is served on curried fried rice blended with LAGO curry sauce, topped with a fried egg and served on a Creole coleslaw.
I have a thing for a good Loco Moco and there are several chefs who pride themselves on the Classic Loco Moco from Hawaii, which has brown gravy, grilled ground beef patty, and sunny side up egg on a bed of white rice. This one piqued my curiosity (explains why I ordered it). I did and when it arrived I was a bit excited...it just looked so yummy! The first bite brought it all into place and I didn't slow down to even catch my breath! The curried fried rice was so flavorful and the Certified Angus Beef burger patty had a tasty blend of spices. The curry sauce was savory and stroked my palate. I was astonished that I ate everything! I was informed that this Curry Loco Moco was a creation of one of their junior chefs whose been there six years. His name is Chef Joseph Raza, who is a six-year veteran at Leo Palace (he started when he was 18!).
Chef Donn had been telling me about his grandma's recipe for the New Orleans Style Bread Pudding with Coconut Pineapple Butter Rum Sauce - $6.50. I was trying to avoid desserts, but when he one out for me to sample. Wow! The Rum sauce and whipped cream were fantastic!...I had only expected to eat a few bites to just taste this dessert (not a big bread pudding fan), however, it was impossible for me NOT to finish this! It was like "CHRISTMAS" or some holiday when mom would make her famous bread pudding!). I then learned a secret. The bread used to make this bread pudding was day old croissants and cinnamon rolls, both of which are premium ingredients, especially when baked in a world class resort by competent pastry chefs.
There are more entrees to try out here at Lago, including the Fettuccine Alfredo, Beer Battered Fish & Chips, Steak Plate, and Kimchi Fried Rice! So we have a lot more eating to do!! See you on the other side of the table!!
Ken the Guam Food Guy