Nuts & Grains Means Healthy Eating
Restaurant Review by Ken Stewart, The Guam Food Guy
Who says "real men don't eat quiche?" If the truth be known, hardly anybody, regardless of gender, would likely be eating quiche at a local restaurant unless they went to Nuts & Grains, which serves quiche daily, Monday - Saturday. For $3.50 you can treat yourself to a large slice of a flavorful Spinach with Mushroom or a Turkey with Wild Rice Quiche. Both of these were on the Nuts & Grains "Daily Specials" board behind the order counter.
Nuts & Grains is more than just a retail health food and product store. They are well known for their terrific smoothies - some of the best on Guam, using fruit and frozen yogurt combinations. Nuts & Grains is conveniently located in Tamuning's Oka Plaza, behind Oka Pay-Less Supermarket, (the shopping center on the way to Guam Memorial Hospital). They are open 10 a.m to 6 p.m., every day but Sunday. Their hours may change soon since Nuts & Grains owner, Libby Pier, is considering providing a morning specialty coffee service, something needed in this busy little part of Tamuning.
Along with the Spinach & Mushroom Quiche, we ordered the Grilled Chicken Burger ($5.50) and the Nuts & Grains Burger (a Garden Burger, for $5.50). Both are served on a whole wheat bun, accompanied with tomato slices, lettuce, alfafa sprouts, and topped with a special sauce. I really enjoy the Chicken Sandwich, which has a whole chicken breast - a great source of protein. However, I was totally amazed when I sampled my companion's Garden Burger - it tasted even better than the chicken! In fact, this textured soy grain burger was as flavorful as some of the better beef hamburgers I've had - it had a grilled, smoky flavor and a meaty texture. Gosh, it made me a convert and I probably won't be ordering the chicken breast on my future visits. The best thing about this hamburger alternative is that there is no "guilt"!! Vegetarian dining choices allow guilt-free eating, and I am impressed at how similar meat alternatives have become to the "real thing"!
There are other sandwiches on the menu (see the menu posted in the Guamdiner.com lunch specials) such as Tuna, Turkey, Egg Salad, Greek (in a pita pocket stuffed with goodies such as feta cheese, olives and Libby's secret vinaigrette), Veggie, Organic Peanut Butter & Raw Honey or Organic Peanut Butter and Banana, with prices from $3.00 to $5.50. Salads are available, with House, Caesar, Spinach, and Greek offered in small and large servings ($2.95 & $3.95), with a Grilled Chicken Caesar and Chef's Salad ($5.95 ea.). A daily soup is available in small & large servings, with fresh baked bread, for $2.50 and $4.50 respectively. Sandwiches are served in a basket with low-fat pretzels, which are fun to munch on between sandwich bites.
We also ordered two small smoothies for $3.00 ea. (a large is $4.00) to go with our meal. My combination was the Strawberry/Banana/Mango (which was just delicious) and my partner had the Very Berry (which definitely used real berries and not artificial flavors - berries have seeds!). Other smoothie blends are Tropical Oasis, Mighty Mix, and Strawberry Delight. We also had two other specialty beverages - Reed's Ginger Beer and Blue Sky Sparkling Water Seltzer (also available as a ginger ale). These are typical of the "boutique" assortment of beverages you'd find in a health food store.
For dessert fanatics, Nuts & Grains has some "guilt-free" treats - their Fat Free Home Made Muffins are great, and they also have Raisin & Oatmeal and Chocolate Chip & Oatmeal cookies. These use whole wheat flour and honey with the raisins and oats. The cookies don't just taste good...they feel good, too! Not on the menu is a specialty dessert you'll have to have Libby or one of her children, Shane or Michelle, prepare for you. It is a chocolate brownie that's heated then topped with soft serve frozen vanilla yogurt and walnuts. Oh my goodness, you have no idea how terrific this combination is. The chocolate fudge brownie is so richly flavored you are reminded of the ecstatic taste sensation you get from Roy's signature Chocolate Souffle!
Nuts & Grains has an apothecary section full of special herb blends and teas. A a wide range of grocery items including nuts, cookies, whole grains, soy products, cereals such as the Kashi GoLean brand, whole wheat couscous, falafel, tabouli, beans, organic pastas, special flours for Indian breads like roti, chappathi, and paratha, natural chocolate candy bars, and many more items. Nuts & Grains is particularly known for its extensive range of Indian food products. This is the place many of our local Indian residents shop for Indian groceries. At any rate, you'll just have to go to there and shop for yourself.
One of the more intriguing products that caught our attention was "Wally's 100% Beeswax Ear Candles", made with 100% unbleached cotton. Now these are for "ear candling". There's even a how-to booklet on "Ear Candling" that is available for purchase. Ear candling is an old practice used to remedy ears that are blocked and to treat other ear ailments. There's even a card of a person, Pamela Ibanaez (www.pamelaspages.com) who offers "Ear Candling" as a service. Interesting.
Nuts & Grains does provide take-out service and you can call Libby or her kids (Shane & Michelle) at 646-9358. They take enormous pride in providing the quality foods they serve. This is one of those businesses that makes Guam the special place it is! Come on down to Nuts & Grains for guilt-free, tasty eats!