"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away." This inspirational saying by an anonymous writer for a Canadian greeting card company has been quoted often and never too much.
This glorious Guam sunset picture was taken this past Wednesday evening after the rainy weather passed. There are so many colors painted in this celestial canvas! I was mesmerized while taking these and was grateful for this "break" in my all-too-busy day to reflect on my "breaths" and on my good fortune for living on Guam.
We have so many blessings and another I'd like to share is the recent performances of Handel's MESSIAH by Cantate. For a community of our size, we have some amazingly talented vocalists and musicians. The performance was conducted by Dr. Lisa Lutter and featured guest musicians from the Guam Symphony. cantate is voluntary and is supported by some sponsors and donations.
If you'd like to support Cantate with a financial gift, time, or talent, contact Shawn Wegner firstname.lastname@example.org. Upcoming events are the Tumon Bay Music Festival (March 8 -9), the Live Karaoke Fundraiser (April 14) and the Pacific Summer Music Festival (June 2-9), featuring the Grammy-nominated quartet San Francisco and guest conductor, Weston Noble.
And, don't forget to ring in the Year of the Dragon on January 23 with a visit to your favorite Chinese restaurant!
Gong Hee Fat Choi!
Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"
The Lemai Cafe and Restaurant
I often find myself craving different foods and one of these is the Tinala Katne (dried beef) over at The Lemai Cafe in Maite. It costs $10 and needs to be ordered in advance, I like to call mine order in to save time.
Although I like Tinala Katne at other local establishments, Lemai's features bigger chunks of beef (I've heard it is made from Certified Angus Beef). This comes with red rice or fried titiyas, vegetables, and finadene. If you want to kick it up a few notches, ask for some donne dinanche. That's how my bud Joe B. and I enjoy this meat treat.
On this day they gave us some delicious home-made sweet potato pie which is a real sweet treat!
You can eat indoors (limited seating) or enjoy the great outdoor garden seating. They do have daily specials here featuring local favorites like Chamoru Bistek, Chicken Kadu, Chalakiles, Grilled Salmon, Grilled or Fried Pork Chops, and more. You can also order a la carte. Check it out!
Girl Scout Cookies are Here!
Girl Scout Cookie Launch
Monday January 16 2012
It was another special community moment for Guam when the Guam Girl Scouts held a press conference officially launching the sale of the highly desired Girl Scout Cookies!
The cameras where clicking and video was rolling as inspiring speeches were made by members of the Girl Scouts including Tasi Petra, Bella Yow, Carly Rosete, and Jasmine Williams, as well as by Honorary President and 2011 Honorary Cookie Chairwoman, First Lady Christine Calvo. New sales records were established in this year's cookie sale campaign, with 73,584 boxes sold, an increase of 18.4% from the previous year!
If you didn't pre-order your cookies, they will be available for sale starting in a week on Friday January 27 at several major retail locations, including Cost-U-Less, K-Mart , GPO, and the various military Exchanges.
In the meantime, don't fret as you can get a special Girl Scout Cookie treat today at Infusion Cafe locations, where Mika Gibson's team used 3 different cookies to make the following dessert creations: Mint Cha-Cha-Chas (chocolate chip cheesecake with Thin Mint Cookie crust and mint whipped cream); Sunshine Bars (lemon bars with fresh calamansi on a Shortbread Cookie crust); and Double Delites (chocolate cupcake, caramel frosting with coconut and crushed Caramel Delites).
For more information about the Guam Girl Scouts, call 646-5652 .
Star Building (across from St. John's School)
I am a craving maniac and I needed breakfast one morning and got to Pika's past their 10:30 breakfast cut-off time (by 5 minutes) and was grateful they accommodated me! BIG Thanks TEAM PIKA!
I ordered a coffee and the Benedict Dela Cruz ($10) that has two poached eggs, Chamoru sausage, English muffin and Hollandaise served with red potatoes. I also had a side of Bacon (2 pcs/$3). You can have this same dish (sans bacon of course) as a Vegetarian option by substituting spinach or soy chorizo.
Pika's makes an outstanding Eggs Benedict which should get the attention of all you Benedict lovers. They also have a Salmon Benedict ($12). I was very happy with the excellent service provided by Robyn during this visit!
Pika's gets double thumbs up from me!
Sushi Ebisu Japanese Restaurant
It's a new year and I needed to visit one of my favorite places - Sushi Ebisu in Tumon! I often have the lunch specials here during the day, however, this was dinner and Chef Fumi-san has the best jazz playing on his sound system! Ebisu will be celebrating their 5th year of business at the end of April and that is a real milestone for local restaurants!
Zee was in a salad mood so she had the Yaki Maguro Garlic Salad ($9.75) which is a mouth-watering, garlic laden fish treat, with seared tuna and a zesty Teriyaki sauce.
I ordered the Assorted Sashimi (five types) in the small size ($17.50) which is enough for two as an appetizer. Ebisu's selection is always fresh and delicious. You get Maguro (red tuna), Saba (pickled mackerel), Smoked Salmon, Ika (squid) and Tako (octopus). Another option is Hamachi (yellowtail). Plus, all real sashimi and sushi aficionados know that the quality of wasabi makes or breaks a restaurant and Ebisu's wasabi is exquisite!
The craving I had tonight a bit unusual for me, but it was curry I craved so I ordered the Katsu Curry Set ($10) which has a nice piece of tender deep-fried pork in panko that is married to a really rich Japanese-style curry. This dinner set comes with a side salad.
We were outside and I noticed a perfect photo op framing Fumi-san at his sushi counter through one of the windows. Truly one of the most comforting sights for us is knowing that this great artist is performing his culinary art! Bravo, Fumi-san!
House of Brutus - Burgers!
ITC Building Ground Floor
It was time to get back to the House of Brutus and I'm glad I did! They've got a great Burger thing going on here that you'll have to try out for yourself one day. I've only had one but got up close to another.
I guess you could say I played it safe by ordering a rather "tame" and "normal" burger called the Royale with Cheese ($8), choose from American, Swiss, Bleu or Cheddar or go super-cheesy with all four for $10! I only had the Cheddar and this burger has all the essentials (tweaked a little) chopped onions, fried pickles, mustard and catsup. It's a really big patty and tasty as well. I didn't even miss tomato and lettuce. If and when I have this one again, I'll get more cheese as the cheddar seemed a little skimpy next to that big ol' beef patty! I did have a side Caesar ($2) and the onion ring option ($3).
The burger menu has some of the same burgers as before but with notations like "Lower Price" on these (which is a good thing, right?). The In-N-Out, The King, and The Brutus are lower now. The Umami and Royale with Cheese are new selections.
The one that I witnessed but didn't try was the Spicy ($8), that has a spicy top bun, chili peppers, spicy aioli, fried onion rings, fresh tomato slice, swiss cheese, spicy beef patty, iceberg lettuce, and sriracha. I saw a cross section of the patty that flecks of red pepper throughout! That's a burger that'll make you sweat and will probably burn more than once. Nevertheless, it's next on my taste radar! Of course, they have an ultimate burger known as GODZILLA ($14) that has a 50/50 beef and pork patty and a spicy beef patty that must weigh more than a pound.
I also had a taste of one of their curry plates (Beef Curry $10) . The photo has a plate without the egg that usually comes with the meal. As I said, just a taste and I agreed with Sang Bui - it's a really delicious and spicy Beef Curry done Japanese-style.
Izaka-ya By Jimmy
Upper Tumon across from St. John's
I stopped by Izaka-ya By Jimmy on a night when Zee had a late Messiah rehearsal with Cantate. This is a really neat and fun little pub - a place where a lot of industry folks come to relax, eat snacks, toss down a few beers, sip on wine, sake or shochu, and generally have a great time during the later hours. They serve food until 11:30pm.
I ordered a list of things in anticipation of Zee's arrival (which was a little past an hour overdue) that included Kushi-Katsu ($5.95) deep-fried pork belly on a stick, Fried Chicken Gizzard (4.95), Yakitori BBQ ($7.95) and a house specialty, Okonomi-Yaki ($8.95) which is a large veggie and pork pancake.
The Kushi-Katsu is a lot of crispy crunch and I guess it's what you pay for!
The Fried Chicken Gizzards are really good, with a special marinade they use. I also dipped these in a vinegar and soy sauce blend. These were so good that I ate all of them. We returned on Saturday night and Zee ordered these so she could try them. She concurred that these were worth having!
The Yakitori BBQ has beef, chicken and pork skewers. They are really good and must be quite popular as they were totally out on the following Saturday night when we returned.
The Okonomi-yaki was a different version than I've had before and seemed a little thicker. It must be eaten hot to really enjoy the layers of flavor. It is something I recommend that people share to really appreciate it.
The last thing we ate was Gemini's Specialty Gyoza Burger (not on menu). This is a very impressive creation that looks like a giant hamburger patty made from the gyoza mixture of pork and veggies with grated radish on top of a perilla leaf laid over the sizzling patty. The platter it is served on is sizzling as well so you get a lot of drama to accompany this flavorful treat. As odd as it sounds, it works quite well. I don't have a price for it, but you can ask for it when you go. Just ask for Gemini's Specialty Burger.
Ita dake masu!