August 16, 2002, Volume 2 Number 33
Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
Some time ago I came to the realization that it would be impossible for me to review all of Guam's restaurants in my weekly review format. Numerically, there are about 500 places to eat, so at the rate of 52 a year...well, you can see it would take over nine years to cover them all. It wouldn't matter if I did three a week. My goal would remain elusive. New restaurants open to replace ones that close down. Some restaurants change their names. Some even change their locations. But most restaurants change their menus, often introducing new food concepts and special combinations, catering to the dining public's ever-changing food preferences, I view this as an evolutionary trend based on the restaurant's desire to be a one-stop dining destination, where consumer's can choose from a diverse selection of products. Burger King, Carl's Jr., King's and Shirley's are serving menu items that didn't exist five years ago! They still offer their "signature" items that are popular favorites, but they've all evolved from where they started, and keep changing to stay competitive. No one wants the "same old" things over and over again, especially when it comes to food.
Over the past 30 years I've watched Guam's restaurant landscape develop into what has literally been an explosion of choices, offering an unmatched variety of dining options in all categories and cuisine styles. We have more Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese, Korean, and American restaurants than ever before. Do you remember Guam before T.G.I. Friday's, Outback Steakhouse, Subway, and Sbarro's? In the past eight years we've seen specialty coffee shops grow, with businesses such as Jungle Java Cafe and Hava Java Cafe selling mochas, lattes, and espressos to consumers who used to get their "caffeine fix" at Winchell's, Denny's or McDonald's. The "Healthy Choices" menu options represent the greatest opportunity for growth, with every "Quick Service Restaurant" (QSR, aka "Fast Food") promoting their own "healthier" alternative selections to the high-fat, calorie-laden menu items on which they'd built their brands.
Where is all of this taking us? How about "food heaven", or something close to it. This is not as far-fetched as you'd think. You can expect to see a few new restaurant concepts open within the next year, with some launching in the major hotels. You will definitely see significant menu diversity in many restaurants, as they expand to accommodate the population's desire for exotic tastes. For food reviewers, this culinary nirvana will require more time on the treadmill to compensate for the proliferation of these additional menu items. If you have any doubts about this happening, just tune in to FoodTV for a preview of things to come. You'll soon understand what's driving the food experience expectations of the dining public.
In Today's Issue:
- Air Fresh Produce Impresses Chefs At MCA Meeting
- Local Wine Reviewer Debuts Next Week
- Isabel's Cafe Nouveau - Now Open for Dinner
- T.G.I. Friday's Unveils 3 New "Chicken Sensations"
- 4th Annual Fisherman's Festival "Gupot Y Peskadot" - August 17
- Coral Palace Launches New Euro-Asian Cuisine Menu
Air Fresh Produce Impresses Chefs At MCA Meeting
At a recent meeting of the Micronesia Chefs Association (MCA), a presentation was made by Air Fresh, a produce company owned by Stephanie Mayfield. Among the produce samples were beautiful red strawberries that were bursting with flavor, sweet seedless grapes, awesome red tomatoes with real tomato taste, succulent pineapples, and huge honeydew melons. Although these products are flown in fresh at a premium cost, they are subject to less spoilage than fruits and vegetables that are shipped via ocean at a much lower price. Since quality is what one build's one's reputation on, it's easy to see how Mayfield's order books have been filling so quickly. For trade inquiries only, call Stephanie at 649-4404 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Local Wine Reviewer Debuts Next Week
Finally, at long last and with great delight, the staff at GuamDiner.com is pleased to announce that our very own local wine reviewer will make her debut in next week's newsletter and at GuamDiner.com. We are confident that her approach to wine as something everyone can (and should) enjoy will prove both entertaining and enlightening. In future articles she will be joined by the "wine rookie" to sample wines available locally and the two of them will write about their personal perceptions of each wine. Tune in next week and join the fun.
Isabel's Cafe Nouveau - Now Open for Dinner
Isabel's Cafe Nouveau which opened for breakfast, lunch and merienda in June has now added dinner to their schedule - and this dinner is a gourmet dinner. About 5 p.m. the cafe undergoes an amazing transformation into an cozy yet elegant dining room. The menu changes nightly with Anilita showing off her culinary skills. Fine dining has come to Mangilao with favorable reports on the food and ambiance coming from several quarters. Call them at 734-1919 for reservations and information.
T.G.I. Friday's Unveils 3 New "Chicken Sensations"
Reflecting the trend for menu innovations, Friday's has recently introduced a delectable trio of sensational chicken dishes that showcase Friday's generous portions, stylish presentations, and sophisticated tastes. First in the new line-up is a Roasted Barbeque Chicken that is topped with Friday's famous apple butter barbeque sauce. This juicy half-chicken is perfectly roasted, and served with a southwestern roasted corn and rice sensation.
Next is the Southern Comfort Roasted Chicken, which offers a large roasted half-chicken that is finished with Friday's signature Southern Comfort glaze. The third is T.G.I. Friday's Guam's own local creation, Friday's Fried Chicken, which offers a sizeable portion of fiery Cajun-spiced fried chicken that's served with a side of apple butter barbeque sauce. Both of these dishes are also served with southwestern roasted corn and rice sensation. All three Chicken Sensations entrees are priced at $15.95, and include a free 12 oz. bottle of Budweiser or Bud Light.
You can look for more promotions and menu items in the months to come. Friday's is the place where you "come for the food, stay for the fun"!
4th Annual Fisherman's Festival "Gupot Y Peskadot" - August 17
Don't miss this weekend's 7th Annual Guam Marianas International Fishing Derby and the 4th Annual Fisherman's Festival. The Festival, presented by the Guam's Fisherman's Cooperative Association, is also called "Gupot Y Peskadot", and runs from 10 a.m - 5 p.m. on Saturday. Special events include an Ifit Chef Competition, seafood sampling, a kelaguen contest ($10.00 registration fee with a maximum of 20 participants), demonstrations, exhibits, fish paintings and even Jumperoos for the kids! So bring the family for a day of fun.
Coral Palace Launches New Euro-Asian Cuisine Menu
It is a new day at the Coral Palace Restaurant, located on the ground level of the Palace Hotel Guam. The hotel's new owners have installed a new management team that is revamping the entire property with the aim to reposition their restaurants to become quality dining destinations. Ambitious you say? Perhaps, but based on my recent dinner at the Coral Palace, the hotel's "fine dining" restaurant, I can honestly report that they have the key elements in place and are "on target".
To understand the nature of this remarkable transformation, one has to consider the vision and caliber of the talent required to achieve the extraordinary. The owner's representative and current General Manager, New Zealander Thomas Lee, has initiated the change and is personally involved in steering his team to meet the international service standards expected by guests. Executive Chef Philip Duong, formerly chef at LSG, the Sherwood, and Reef Hotel, brings a wealth of creativity and talent to the Palace, and has revitalized the rather staid "haute cuisine" menu of a past generation. Both Lee and Duong have created a dinner menu offering popular international selections with Euro-Asian influences.
Starters on the a la carte dinner menu include a Scallop Terrine served with Light Chili Sauce ($5.50), Fresh Shrimp Spring Roll with Herbs Served with Sweet Bean Sauce ($4.50) and Beef Tenderloin & Chicken Satay on Spicy Creamy Peanut Sauce ($6.00). Soups include an exceptional New England Clam Chowder ($3.50) and Tom Yum Kung (Spicy Shrimp Soup $5.50). The individually portioned salads include a Roasted Chicken Julienne & Herb Salad ($4.00), a Caesar Salad ($4.50) and a unique Jelly Fish & Cucumber Salad with Grapefruit Dressing ($5.00).
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The Guam Food Guy
Don't miss this week's features at GuamDiner.com!
- Featured Recipe - Three Bean & Corn Pasta Salad
- Wine Feature - Ten Truths About Collecting Wine
- Other Beverage Feature - Whiskey History 3 - Bourbon, Moonshine & Rye
- Health & Nutrition Feature - Make Sure Lunch Boxes Stay Safe
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