Terry's Chamorro Food Stand & Catering Service - Fast Fiesta Food
Restaurant Review by Ken Stewart, The Guam Food Guy
A significant discovery was made over 400 years ago by the Spanish--not only was Guam a beautiful island and welcome relief from weeks at sea, but it was populated by people who loved to cook and eat! The Chamorro food was so uniquely delicious that the Spanish tried to keep it a secret for themselves, and loaded their galleons with fiesta plates after dumping their gold overboard to make room...alright, so I stretched the story a bit! Yet the truth remains, Chamorro food has a universal appeal, with people relishing the special blend of spices and ingredients used to make these hearty, mouth-watering dishes served at Guam's village fiestas.
Since it's impossible to attend a fiesta everyday (they're just not held that ofen), there are other ways to treat yourself to great Chammoro food, and you can do this by going to Hagatna's Chamorro Village where you will find an eatery known for its special local plates: Terry's Chamorro Food Stand & Catering Service.
Open every day of the week ( 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. Thursdays - Tuesdays & 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. on Wednesdays), Terry's serves a broad selection of local favorites, though they don't roast pigs or serve fanihi (fruit bat)! What I ate (sampled) will give you an idea of their menu items. I had three Kelaguen's (chicken, shrimp, and beef), a shrimp patty, lumpia, kadon pika, BBQ Spare rib, BBQ chicken, fried chicken, beef tinak tak, bisteak Chamoru, pancit, red rice and vegetable salad. Terry's also sells fried tilapia and parrot fish.
Since this is a "fast food" stand, you will not be able to overload your plates with goodies like you would in an all-you-can-eat buffet (or at your local fiesta). However, for Terry's # 1 Fiesta Plate ($5.00), you get your choice of chicken or beef Kelaguen, choice of Fried or BBQ Chicken, BBQ sparerib, pancit, shrimp patty, vegetable salad and red rice. Not a bad deal! The # 2 Hot Chamorro Plate ($5.00) has beef, chicken, and shrimp Kelaguen, vegetable salad and red rice. I need to warn you the Kelaguen is pika! A fish plate and pork chop plate are also available. Shishkabobs (chicken and pork) are ready to eat, too and priced at $1.00 each.
Although I enjoyed most of the foods I sampled, I was particularly impressed with their Kadon Pika (hot stewed chicken), beef tinak tak, beef kelaguen, fried chicken, bisteak Chamorro and red rice. The kadon pika was exceptional, and the older stewing chicken was cooked and seasoned so that every bite delivered heated flavor. The beef tinak tak was great, with minced beef stewed in a coconut broth with onion, joined by delicious crunchy green beans. The beef kelaguen was the tastiest of the three. The meat was tender and marinated just right. (I prefer the shrimp kelaguen at Josephine's Chamorro Kitchen because of the fastidious care she takes deveining it.)
Terry's fried chicken was fresh, well-seasoned, crispy and juicy. I really like chicken, and appreciate it when it's really good. It was better than most I've had. The bisteak was another flavor treat with tasty beef served in a rich spicy broth. The red rice was fluffy, moist, and had a distinct flavor, as though it was made with care and not as just a filler.
Located in stall # 21A, Terry's Chamorro Food Stand is located just across from the Main Pavilion and is adjacent to Raphael's Ice Cream stand. It is owned by Terry Sablan who also offers catering services. Many people order their plates to go although you can eat at one of the many tables in the Main Pavilion. You should realize that eating anywhere outdoors here you may find yourself competing with flies, so you will learn the art of creative "swatting" between bites!
You can reach Terry's Chamorro Food Stand by calling 477-7970 or 472-8672, where you can inquire about special orders or other foods that they may be serving that day. One that I heard about was cooked local eggplant in coconut milk...that sounds so good! They also have Children's Plates, for $3.00, which include a soda.
If you've not had an opportunity to visit the Chamorro Village, now you've got a good reason to go! And after eating at Terry's Chamorro Food Stand, check out the many shops and other restaurants that are located there. The variety of local products and services, as well as the friendly service and personalities of the tenants will prove to be an entertaining experience for your entire family.