Posts Tagged ‘food blogs’

Coffee Care: Your food on the hill

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Fried eggs in the Hole

A DRIVE up to Coffee Care on Capital Hill last Saturday took me and a lunch buddy to try the new lunch specials. We headed straight to a table for two right by the glass windows and browsed the menu a waitstaff handed us, only to find out the lunch specials was offered only on the weekdays.

I decided to try one dish from the weekend breakfast menu and satisfy my curiosity about what “fried eggs in the hole” looks like. My lunch buddy chose one of the day’s special—grilled chicken with shrimps and baked potatoes.

DSC_6686While waiting for our orders, our waitstaff served us a roll of freshly baked bread, still hot from the oven with two packets of butter, and a small bowl each of corn and vegetable soup. I pushed my soup aside after one spoonful, knowing I’d be full if I finish it.

My Fried Eggs in the Hole was served a few minutes after, and I got the answer to my question. A couple of slice toast with a hole in the center and well done fried eggs filled the hole, served on a  bed of baked potatoes, and topped with a thin slab of smoked salmon and chickpea pesto.

DSC09671Although under a new management, most of the menu at the Coffee Care remains the same, but in celebration of the restaurant’s 25th anniversary, Coffee Care is offering lunch specials for $8.99. Check out the special lunch on the weekdays.

My buddy’s order followed a couple of minutes after, tender and juicy slabs of grilled chicken bathed in a golden sauce, and served with broccoli and coated fried shrimps. I ate about one third of my buddy’s meal and left half of mine untouched.

The Coffee Care is operating under new business hours. Lunch is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and dinner from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Friday. Breakfast and lunch on Saturdays and Sundays is from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner is from 6-10 p.m.

This means you can order breakfast items even if its lunchtime, or stretch it and have a leisurely breakfast all the way till 2 p.m. I was tempted to have coffee but time was running out as I still had many errands to do.

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The Coffee Care remains a favorite hangout on the hill for many. Albeit the food prices could be a bit steep for a regular budget, the superb view of the Saipan lagoon is a steal.

Coffee Care is the best destination to have a leisurely cup of your favorite coffee. That’s what they’re known for—the best coffee in the island. You see jars and jars of various coffee beans just inside the door, and it is more than enough to tempt your palates for a hot mug or a tall iced glass of rich espresso beverages.DSC09666

Check out Coffee Care’s extensive menu that includes a wide selection of salads, pasta, sandwiches, pancakes and a wide array of mouthwatering breakfast items, seafood and meat entrees. The restaurant serves Italian dinner specials, Japanese dinner specials and Mexican dinners. They also serve a selection of pizza, steaks, as well as beverages like cocktails and tropical cocktails, Daquiris, special Margaritas, fruit smoothies, fresh fruits and others.

Major credit cards are accepted. For reservations, call 323-5282.

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Boka Boka: A haven for desserts & authentic Chamorro cuisine

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Parrot fish eskabeche

THE newly opened Boka Boka, (or Eat Eat!) is the island’s newest destination when the craving for sumptuous local desserts and authentic Chamorro cuisine hits you.

My out-to-eat buddy and I skipped breakfast and lunch and it was already past 4 p.m. on Saturday when we headed to Boka Boka to see what everybody has been crazy about the past few days.

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katdun katni

Hunger helps you make fast decisions and I ordered the first two items that caught my attention from the rectangular one page menu that I grabbed from the counter—the katdun katni and eskabeche. I was expecting the katdun katni to a something like beef curry but I was wrong. It turned out to be hot beef soup with vegetable slices, and came with two scoops of steamed rice, a small dish of sliced cucumbers, finadene sauce and hot pepper dipping. Red rice was an option which I didn’t fancy.

We dug into our food without waiting for the eskabeche, which came when we were halfway through our late-breakfast/lunch/ early dinner. The eskabeche was a medium-sized parrot fish swimming in coconut milk and topped with vegetables. We made short work of it too in world record time.?????? `

We were almost finished when restaurant owner Marianne Conception’s niece served us two scoops of red rice that changed my total outlook of this traditional Chamorro food. I have never been overly enthusiastic about red rice but the Boka Boka has exactly what I wanted. It was not oily at all and there were no stuff mixed with it. I still managed to (almost) finish the red rice although I was stuffed.

Marianne served us a small sampler platter of chicken kelaguen which my companion finished very fast, and the most popular dessert Boka Boka has to offer—freshly baked cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting. Our whole meal at $21.95 was a good bargain.?????? `

People who don’t have time to cook or just want to picnic out can avail of the Boka Boka BTG special where for $15, you get one whole Rottisserie chicken, rice enough for three to four people, and salad. Just call and you can pick it up, or if you prefer to eat it at the restaurant, just throw in an additional $5 for the BTG. A wide selection of breakfast bento or meal packs is also available early in the morning, as well as daily breakfast specials including Chamorro fried rice or toast, eggs, bacon and more with coffee or tea; waffles, grilled toast or mini-breakfasts.

Other must-try desserts which you can pick up anytime from their shelves for various occasions include their ‘Better than Sex’ cake or Fa’um cake, velvet cake, rum cake, angel cake, cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, cream puffs, Pavlova, parfaits, strawberry shortcake, Guyuria, Rosketti, Rosku, donuts, and more.

?????? `Marianne said Boka Boka is a family-run restaurant with her family members helping out in the kitchen and counter. Boka Boka is located at the Morgen Building in Oleai, formerly Mitsue’s Restaurant. ?????? `

They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Mondays to Saturdays, and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. Only cash is accepted for now. Also check out Marianne’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/marianne.teregeyo to get updates on the daily specials so you can just place your calls and pick the goodies up. For inquiries or reservations please call 235-BOKA (2652).

First published at the Marianas Variety’s Out to Eat section.

Saipan’s Volcano Bar rises

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fish fillet

FROM an abandoned structure sitting idle for some time rose the island’s homegrown volcano right in the Garapan, nestled between the DFS Galleria and I Love Saipan malls.

A buddy and I hurried to the Volcano Bar on Wednesday past 1 p.m. for a late lunch, hoping we could still catch up with the lunch hour. It was scorching hot outside but when you push open the heavy wooden door of Volcano Bar, you will be greeted with a relaxing coolness that makes you want to stay forever, or at least until it gets cooler outside.??

We headed to one of the bamboo sofa sets inside and browsed through the two laminated menus the food staffer handed us. There were no more diners as it was almost closing time but we were still accommodated.

From the Volcano Bar specials menu I decided to try the Volcano’s version of Fillet of Fish while my lunch buddy ordered the beef curry.??

Shortly after, the food staffer served a rectangular plateful of fresh green salad, followed by a bowl of mushroom soup topped with croutons. I pushed the salad to my lunch buddy and started on the soup, stopping when the bowl was half-empty. I had to wait for my fish fillet, or else I’d be too full.

The fish fillet—three flaky succulent slices of fish in classic crunchy coating it, was served on a bed of sautéed tomatoes and vegetables and sprinkled with chopped greens for added flavors. The sauce was a perfect dip for the fillet, and I found myself scraping my fish on the sides of the plate to get all the flavors. I ordered at serving of rice to go with my fish fillet. My order also came with a glass of iced tea, not bad for $9.

Served on a round platter, my buddy’s beef curry includes crispy beef cutlets on top of a serving of steamed rice and the curry filling up over a third of the plate. I am not much of a curry lover but I took a spoonful of it to taste, then another and another. It was good, without the usually strong flavors and aroma of curry that I always associate curry with.??

Other must-try dishes in the Specials menu are seafood fry, seafood curry, spinach-bacon carbonara, clam spaghetti with toast, pasta Mentaiko with salad, Caesar salad and chili mushroom spaghetti with toast, all from $8 to $12 per order.

Volcano Bar’s appetizers range from $6 to $9 including chicken wings, chili beef, potato wedge, tortilla chip, onion rings, squid rings, tuna poke, galic octopus and seared diced tuna with tomato.

One best feature when you dine and drink at the Volcano Bar is airy, comfortable ambiance it provides. You can sink in the deep cushions of the bamboo sofas and enjoy happy hours drinking. The Volcano Bar is like an indoor garden, with a mix of native decorations including bamboo seats and tables, thatched ceiling giving you the feel of being inside a native hut. The French windows give diners a view of what’s going on in the busy street outside.??

For those who just want to stop by for a quick coffee or a drink or two, the bar is the best place to hang out, or in one of the two tables shaped like beer barrels and stools near the door.

As an option, you can also occupy the tables outside the bar if you want to be in the open-air.?????? H

Volcano Bar serves lunch from Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and happy hours are from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. everyday. Cards are accepted. For inquiries or reservations please contact familybldg@gmail.com or call K Family LLC at 989-6242.

First published at the Marianas Variety Out to Eat Section.

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

Delectable all-day meals at the Broadway Restaurant

breakfast menu

Breakfast Menu

 DINING at the Broadway Restaurant of the Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino is nothing new. I’ve been there countless times in the past five years but this time, it was different. Gone were the hundreds of diners who come in for the buffet breakfasts and lunches. We were there for dinner for the first time, after the Broadway was transformed into an ala carte restaurant.

Attentive staffers supervised by Executive Sous Chef Ramonsito Apostol came to assist me and my dinner buddies Chell, Geoffrey and his family.

dinner menu

Dinner Menu

The Broadway Restaurant dinner is a destination fit for someone who has been starving for the whole day. For $15 per person, you can have a feast from the cold selection bar—Caesar Salad, mixed greens, macaroni, potato salad, coleslaw, selection of daily seafood, cheese platter and cold cut meats; Western or Asian soup of the day, bottomless coffee or tea, and a feast of the most tempting desserts in the island.

From the ala carte, we tried the Certified Angus steaks—heavenly slices of Filet Mignon, 8-oz Rib-eye and sirloin steak dripping with mushroom sauce or black pepper sauce and served with mashed potatoes or steamed rice. Spear into the succulent slices of the medium rare beef with its pleasantly tender texture with its marinade penetrating far into the meat and leaving you craving for more.

You should also try the grilled pork chop, grilled lamb chop and island style fried chicken.

I ordered the Catch of the Day, grilled slices of unagi served with steamed rice and tartar sauce. I also ordered finadeni sauce and we all traded slices of each other’s dishes.

Lunch Menu

Lunch Menu

The dessert station is a temptation bar by itself. Not exactly a dessert lover myself, I was surprised to find all the items not that sweet.

The feast was not over. At noon the next day, Chell and I headed to the Broadway Restaurant again to try the Continental Breakfast which is $15 per person and includes an eat all you can breads and pastries, cold selection, a Japanese Corner where you can get your fill of steamed rice, grilled fish, miso soup with tofu and seaweed, pickles and takwang, and bottomless fruit juices, coffee or tea from the beverage section.

For ala carte you can go Western or Asian. We tried the egg set with you can get any style with a choice of bacon, ham or sausage and served with your choice of hash brown potato, toast, the waffle which became my instant favorite, and the pancake,

For other choices you can go Asian and try the rice congee with choice of chicken, pork, beef or Century egg, the chicken fried noodles or fried vermicelli, or wonton noodle soup.

We also ordered some items from the lunch menu like the beef brisket and the fried rice which, unlike any other fried rice, tasted so good it was a full meal by itself. The salted fish was rarely visible—thin strips mixed into the fried rice but you can taste it in the flavor.

Your $10 lunch gives you free access to an all you can eat selections at the salad bar, Western or Asian soup of the day and bottomless coffee or tea.

salad, cold cuts and desert bar

salad, cold cuts and desert bar

Try the Western ala carte menu and order pasta, the Baccarat Burger or the Club Sandwich, chicken fried vermicelli, Wonton noodle soup.

Chef Ramon said diners who order anything from the ala carte menu automatically get a 50 percent discount for the breakfast, lunch and dinner prices. That means

Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino executive sous chef Ramon Apostol

Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino executive sous chef Ramon Apostol

Tinian Dynasty Food & Beverage manager Geoffrey Jones Garcia said they will be making changes in the menu every now and then, and invites the community to try their mouthwatering dishes at very affordable prices.*?

The Broadway Restaurant opens for breakfast from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily.

For inquiries and reservations, please call Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino at 328-2233 or visit their website at http://www.tinian-dynasty.com/.

Yoshoku at Miyako

?????? HWHEN I got an invitation to try out Yoshoko — Miyako Japanese Restaurant’s latest offering at the Hyatt a couple of weeks ago — I said “yes!” without having any idea what to expect. –
I had visions of new sushi and sashimi servings in mind, and was unprepared when I came face to face with four mouthwatering sets of “Japanized” European dishes — Western-influenced cooking that originated during the Meiji restoration which started in 1868 and, according to Wikipedia, was responsible for the emergence of Japan as a modernized nation in the early 20th century.

The emperor at the time, Meiji, lifted the ban on red meat and promoted Western cuisine.Yoshoku

Miyako at the Hyat is offering four main Yoshoku dishes for a tryout period starting October 7 until Oct. 31, 2013:

• Kaki Furai — crunchy bite-size pieces of breaded, deep fried oysters served with tartar sauce and lemon wedge at $10 per order.

• Katsu Kare — breaded kurobuta pork coated with bread crumbs and served with Japanese curry and steamed rice for $20.

• Omurice — chicken rice wrapped in an omelet and served with a special house-made salsa. The blend of flavors will tease your palates. The Omurice is a meal by itself for $10 only.

• Gyuniku katsu — my instant favorite. Certified Angus Beef served with cabbage and sauce for dipping for $30. The meat was so tender and flavorful, and when I learned it was fried, I couldn’t believe it. There were no traces of dripping oil and the flavors just lingered on my palate.

Black sesame ice cream

Black sesame ice cream

For dessert, we tried Miyako’s black sesame ice cream. I was not overly enthusiastic about ice cream and was thinking of just tasting it. But the ice cream was served on a platter: two deliriously mouthwatering slices of them — yes, slices and served with strawberry and lemon. I finished my ice cream in world record time, ahead of my three companions.

The Yoshoku dinner is available from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. every day at the Miyako except Sunday. Mojito drinks are available. Reservations are recommended but walk-ins are welcome depending on table availability. Club at the Hyatt discount is available.DSC_2303

The price range for these four Yoshoku dishes is from $10 to $30, and you can also order other Japanese favorites from the ala carte menu.

While at the Hyatt, don’t miss the Nutty Melon special cocktail and enjoy the heavenly blend of cranberry juice, water melon juice, coconut syrup and dark rum. Nutty Melon is available at all Hyatt bars for $10.

For inquiries and reservations, call 234-1234 or visit http://www.saipan.regency.hyatt.com.

First published at http://www.mvariety.com/special-features/out-to-eat/59631-yoshoku-at-miyako

Coffee, crepes and more at The Shack

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Okonomiyaki, one of the must-try favorites at the SHACK

WELCOME to The Shack, the newest rave in the island where ‘hunters, fishermen, politicians and other liars are welcome.’

Although it’s still on a soft opening phase, The Shack has become a trending household word as the satisfied diners try their unique dishes and go back for more.

It was my second time to visit The Shack for lunch yesterday, and was looking forward to something new. A friend and I had The Shack’s famous Chili Beans on Rice and the equally famous dessert called “The Dentist” before.

We headed to the farthest table for two against the wall and Glen Hunter, who runs The Shack with his mother Gloria Hunter, and Glen’s brother Randy, came to assist us.

Mom Gloria’s special version of fried rice and egg during the weekends, and we decided to try that. Glen also recommended the okonomiyaki and I said yes, not knowing what it was.

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The Favorite

Glen served us the fried rice topped with eggs over easy first, which we started to attack immediately. Next, he served us the Shack’s version of Okonomiyaki, a very tempting flatcake splattered with sauce and Japanese mayo and topped with bits of onion leaves and fish flakes which looked so alive like they were waving.

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Shack Breakfast Akai Bowl

Although it was so tastefully served that I didn’t want to ruin the plating, I was hesitant to try it, not knowing what was inside. I watched my companion slice off a bit from the side and ate it. When he sliced another portion immediately after the first bite, I decided to try it. One bite is all it took, and we kept going at it until there was nothing left of the whole okonomiyaki. We even scraped off the remaining sauce from the plate.

Glen explained that the okonomiyaki, which is one of the most popular dishes at The Shack, literally means “what you like” and their version contains a mix of corn, mushrooms, noodles, tofu, mongo sprouts, cabbage, and more. One bite will stop you to analyze the flavor and you’ll discover it’s a bit of everything—salty, sweetish, a bit sour, a bit spicy but blended beautifully together in one savory flavor that would send you wanting for more. Glen said diners can customize the Okonomiyaki and diners can order what they want to be stuffed inside the pancake.

We were not even halfway into our meal when Glen served us another delight called The Favorite. It is a dessert made of Nutella and bananas wrapped in a think warm crepe folded into quarters and topped with whipped crème. I don’t have a sweet tooth but the empty dish is a testimony of how well we liked it.

We were already very full when Glen came again and let us try the latest breakfast treat—The Shack Breakfast Acai Bowl which is a small glass containing layers of Frozen Puree of Acai Berries and Mixed Fruit on top of layers of Homemade Kefir Yogurt topped with layers of Honey, Nut and Raisin Granola and topped with dates, banana slices and fresh strawberry slices.

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Mom Gloria’s version of fried rice on egg, only at The Shack

I looked at the Shack Breakfast Acai Bowl doubtfully and voiced out that it was too small for anyone’s breakfast. Glen said that’s what everybody said, until they try it and find it even hard to finish everything off. He was right, the Acai breakfast bowl was small but it packed a punch and should never be underestimated. We capped our lunch with tall glasses of lemonade.

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The Dentist, one of the most popular favorites at The Shack

The boldly warm orange tables and walls of the wooden deck and the glaring neon green chairs on the tables below the deck outside is a big contrast to the cool and simple rustic beauty inside The Shack. A sofa occupies one part of the restaurant with a low table. Sack curtains hung from the sides of the glass windows, allowing sunlight to stream inside. Paintings adorn the walls, along with books on the shelves, lamp shades and bric-a-brac on the walls. The mix of modern and antique décoration provides an overall homey ambiance of like dining or having coffee at your own home.IMG_6653

“It’s all about relaxation, of having tea, coffee and crepes and hanging out with friends and family,” Hunter said.

Every day is never the same at The Shack. Mom Gloria prepares varied lunch specials. Check out their Facebook page everyday for the lunch specials the next day.

20130810_144324 (2)Don’t miss out Mom Gloria’s special carrot cake for a sweet, moist slice of paradise. Check out the menu board for the list of crepes available. Beverages available include Espresso, Shack coffee, Shack teas, fresh lemonade, classic iced tea, beer and wines.

The Shack has ample parking spaces outside and WiFi is available free.IMG_6668 (2)

The Shack Saipan is located across from Downtown Market in San Jose, Oleai and open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. They are closed on Mondays. Credit cards are accepted. For reservations please call 235-7422.

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