Posts Tagged ‘appetizers’

Squid it at the Garapan street market

IF there is one food item that gets the biggest share of attention from tourists and even locals at the Garapan street market on Thursdays, it is at the barbecue stall where guests can order squid and have it grilled with all the ‘fire exhibits.’

Visit the stalls designated for the meat and barbecue section on Thursdays and the sight and smell of whole squid grilling and on fire will lead you there.

For most of the customers, especially the tourists, watching the whole squid getting grilled with flavors and watching it being engulfed in a blaze is more than half the fun.

As soon as someone places an order for grilled squid, a crowd automatically gathers—almost all if not all of them equipped with cameras and video cameras to document the whole grilling process.
In a few minutes, the mouth-watering aroma of grilled squid fills up the air and gets everyone around hungry, enticing more customers to place their orders.

Back when the street market was still at the Coral Tree Avenue in Garapan on Thursdays, the same scene took place—tourists and even locals taking photos and videos of the squid being grilled. The photos and videos have been posted in social media and shared in different parts of the world as the tourists went home to their own countries.

Such a common scene at the street market is rare for others who never had the chance to watch how the food is being prepared. If you haven’t seen the cooks in action, visit the next street market and see how a local island delicacy is making its mark among tourists and the rest of the street market goers. Squid it and Try it!


Salty’s Grill & Café: Your Chamorro cuisine dining destination


  SALTY’S Grill & Café in Garapan is the only dining spot on island that has purely local cuisine on their menu.It’s also a spacious, open dining place with wooden floors and big plastic white tables and matching chairs.

A companion and I were there recently, and I decided to try a local appetizer I was familiar with — beef kelaguen — while my companion ordered the poki bowl. My kelaguen was served after a few minutes —?? beef strips with pickles and bits of sliced onions served on a round plate lined with banana leaf and adorned with a white plumeria and half a slice of lemon.

The beef kelaguen was good, the beef strips tender and well-marinated. It was kind of spicy but not too much.

My compan??ion’s poki bowl came next — fresh tuna sashimi slices sprinkled with bits of onion and served on a bed of lettuce on top of a serving of steamed rice. It was a full dinner by itself.

Salty’s Grill & Café is a Japanese-owned restaurant with an extensive Chamorro menu that includes shrimp kelaguen, red rice, Spam kelaguen with titiyas (flatbread), sardine kelaguen with titiyas, tamales gisu and Spam onigiri.

You can order shrimp with taro leaf or garlic butter, fish with taro leaf, fresh tuna poki or sashimi, clam with garlic butter, Lau Lau, kadun pika, seafood soup, sweet potato croquettes, Spam fry, or cold tofu with finadene sauce.


Four dishes from the menu are dinner for $8: Chamorro bowl, Spam bowl, poki bowl and locomoco bowl.

You can grill your food at the table when you order the seafood BBQ set. You can also get raw beef fingers, short rib or ribs eye and have the freedom to grill them to your preference.??

Salty’s Grill & Café’s seafood selections also include lobster, salmon, scallops, squid and mussels from $8 to $25.

For dessert, try the banana lumpia (roll) with coconut milk, apigigi or tapioca with coconut and ube (purple yam) ice cream?

Salty’s Grill & Café is an ideal place to hang out for a drink if you want fresh, open spaces without the humming of air-conditioning units and confining walls.

The bar is open from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. and has a wide selection of wines, cocktails, beer and other beverages. Chasers include fried chicken, French fries, endamame, Chamorro sausage, raisin, peanuts and potato chips.

Salty’s Grill & Café is located in Garapan beside Panda Store (formerly Chicago) and is open every day from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Credit cards are accepted. For inquiries or reservations call 888-9451, email or visit

First published at the Marianas Variety here

Amigo’s: Your pizza and BBQ stop on Saipan

*?A SUDDEN craving for pizza led me and a companion to Amigo’s Pizza and BBQ in Garapan on Saturday night. It was past 8 p.m. and I was heading to the Las Vegas Night at Fiesta Resort but decided to have a quick meal.
Amigo’s used to be a purely pizza parlor located on Beach Road but it relocated to its current location last year and expanded its menu which now includes BBQ and pasta.Only one table was occupied by a couple when we came in, and we learned that the place would close at 9 p.m.We sat at the one of the three tables on the mezzanine where we got the full blast of cold air from the A/C unit.?? HA cheerful food staffer brought us menus and I immediately ordered a regular Hawaiian pizza. My companion was hungry and went for the BBQ set meal.

Soon, my pizza arrived. It was a crispy thin crust coated with cheese and bits of bacon and pineapple slices. I dug into it and vowed to finish at least half of the eight slices of pizza but stopped at two and a half. I was full already.?? H

Meanwhile, the BBQ set was brought to our table on a wide tray. It consisted of a small plate of green salad, a dish of pickled papaya, soup, a serving of rice, and the BBQ on a sizzling plate — grilled pork, chicken, beef slices and hotdogs.

I took a bite off one end of the chicken barbeque and pushed it aside. If you love garlic, then go for it. The flavor of the rich marinade permeated into the very core of the meat. I am not fond of garlic.*?

We only finished half of our orders and had to take the rest home.

Amigo’s pizza choices include regular or large ranch pepperoni pizza, chicken Alfredo, seafood, meat lover’s pizza, double cheese, bacon and ham, Italian sausage, combination pizza (beef, ham, pepperoni, red and green bell peppers, mushroom, olive and onions), salad pizza, spicy shrimp, bulgogi and BBQ pizza. If you want to add more toppings, just pay an additional $2 per topping.

Check out Amigo’s assorted BBQ sets: lobster, crabs, mussel, shrimp, salmon with lemon butter, chicken, pork belly, or go for the meat and seafood combo. Amigo’s also serves hamburger, sirloin, rib-eye and tenderloin steak

A selection of salads and appetizers is also available: potato or tossed salad, seafood or grilled chicken salad.

Lunch specials include hamburger steak, carbonara seafood or meat sauce spaghetti, and assorted BBQ sets from $7.50 to $12.99 price.*?

Amigo’s Pizza & BBQ is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch, and from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for dinner every day. For orders or inquiries, drop by Amigo’s Pizza & BBQ next to the Wax Museum near Winchell’s on Orchid Street in Garapan or call 233-PIZA (7412) or 989-3694.

First published at the Marianas Variety here

Siberia Restaurant:A Taste of Russia

IMG_1798THE first time I visited this new restaurant it was still closed. The next time I was there it was full of people standing and waiting for tables. For my third visit, it was already closed for the night. My fourth try on Thursday night turned out to be successful — there were no other diners and it was almost closing time but two friendly staffers led me to a table across from the artificial fireplace .?? ?
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Not so hungry, I browsed through the thick leather-bound menu and decided to try Ukha, or fish soup, and a couple of Pirozhki, Russian bread stuffed with mashed potatoes. My companion ordered a set meal of rice and hamburger steak.Our food staffer served us a plate of white bread and butter, and three kinds of appetizers. My fish soup was served next in a white boat-shaped ceramic dish. Salmon was the fish for the day and it was served with onion bits and carrots. I found the soup a bit bland but I was not used to Russian flavors, and I finished it just the same.I took a piece off my companion’s hamburger steak and found it to be perfect.
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The Pirozhki was served fresh from the oven and smelled tempting. The top and sides were crusty, a contrast to the soft and moist texture on the inside, and the mashed potatoes were flavored right, not sweet or salty. You can also try the Siberia Pirozhki platter for $9 and get the Russian stuffed bread with mashed potatoes, apples, and cabbage.Dessert was a surprise. We were served a rectangular platter with three compartments containing small round cookies, some pretzel looking things and bits of what looked like small chocolate cubes. I popped a small cookie in my mouth, expecting it to be sweet like most cookies and found it a bit salty, and not as hard as it looked. Expecting the pretzel to be salty, I found I was wrong. But it was also not sweet. Two wrong predictions with one more to go. Picking one cube from the third section of the dish, I was surprised to find it was not chocolate at all but some kind of delicious nougats.?? ?For the main entrées, check out the beef stroganoff with mashed potato, Golubtsy or cabbage rolls stuffed with meat, t-bone steak served with your choice of side dishes. You can also try the various salads like Shuba or layered salad with pickled herring, potatoes, carrots, beets and mayonnaise; vinaigrette salad Russian style; soups like traditional Russian Borsch and more. You can also try the pastry dishes like meat Pelmeni in pot or Russian meat dumpling, Varekini with mashed potato, or housemade ravioli served with sour cream, and other pastry dishes.?? `

Meal sets that include salad, main dish, soup and dessert are also available from $25 and up. Siberian’s dessert selection includes a pancake platter good for three people, Russian apple pie served with vanilla ice cream, and Kartoshka or chocolate rum balls. Beverages include red and white ?? ?wines, house wine, Champagne and sparkling wines, vodka, cognac, whisky, sodas and juices.

Stepping into the Siberian Restaurant is like stepping into a fantasy room filled with a pleasant mix of wooden furniture swathed in purple, gold, silver, red and velvet upholstery, with crystal chandeliers and quaint lamps hanging from the ceiling. It’s one place where you can have a semi-private space with comfortable, plush seats adorned with velvet throw pillows encased in gold, silver, red and green cases.

Siberian Restaurant is located on the second floor of ABC Store across from DFS in Garapan. It is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. Cards are accepted. For inquiries or reservations, call 233-7722.?? ?

First published at the Marianas Variety

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