Posts Tagged ‘raquel bagnol food blog’

Bubba Gump: Shrimpin’ it the way you like it

P1600173SAIPAN—Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., the island’s newest food destination opened its doors to the public on June 27, 2016, bringing to Saipan one of America’s icons.

Enter Bubba Gump Shrimp’s doors and you will be stepping into a world-class space, assembled and decorated by Bubba Gump specialists to truly embody the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. spirit and brand. This is a hundred percent true to the highest standards of Landry’s restaurant group, according to Triple J Enterprises marketing manager Iliana Pacheco.

hush puppies

Head out to Bubba Gump Shrimp for your total ‘shrimp and seafood indulgence’ starting off with the Shrimper’s Heaven— hand breaded coconut shrimp with dipping sauces like tangy Asian, cajun marmalade, and zesty cocktail; Seafood Trio of shrimp, veggie and mahi-mahi in a skewer; the award-winning Lt. Dan’s Surf & Turf—baby back ribs slow roasted to perfection and served with succulent grilled shrimp and fries, Shrimp Mac and Cheese which is noodles mixed with sautéed shrimp, assorted cheeses and topped with golden brown breadcrumbs.

Another must-order item in the menu is Forrest’s Seafood Feast of hand breaded fried shrimp, fish and chips, seafood hush pups and served with homemade sauces for dipping—known to be Forrest’s favorite meal after a day on the boat.grilled seafood trio

 To get a total feel of Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. watch the movie Forrest Gump (if you haven’t already) and also prepare to answer trivia questions about the movie that the staffers will be asking diners.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Saipan has over 130 staffers to serve diners with mouthwatering menus using a lot of local ingredients. Like the rest of the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. outlets all over the country, the restaurant’s walls are plastered with memorabilia, still photos from Forrest Gump movie, story boards, and all kinds of knickknacks Bubba Gump is known for.P1600199

Pacheco said most of the merchandise is unique to Saipan as well as a one-of-a-kind pin that no other Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. brand has.

If you want an out-door Bubba Gump experience, the amazingly large patio is also unique to this location with its state-of-the-art retractable awning. Love shrimp? This is your place.P1600213

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is located at the ground floor of Serenti Hotel in Garapan and they are open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. everyday.

 

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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!

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

Cozy dining at Tinian Dynasty’s buffet restaurant

IMG_8406FROM a huge conference hall that can house 800 guests, the Tinian Dynasty Casino and Hotel ballroom has been transformed into a buffet restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.IMG_8416
It offers an all-you-can eat selection of international cuisine — Western, Chamorro, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Filipino favorites.Make as many trips as you can to the bread/cereal section for a bite of freshly baked bread and your favorite cereals.There’s also the noodle and main buffet sections as well as the dessert station which offers fresh fruit in season, heavenly cakes and pies prepared by the expert culinary team of food and beverage manager Geoffrey Jones Garcia and sous chef Ramon Apostol comes up for the diners.1 dessert station

With its centralized air-conditioning system, the spacious red, white and gold restaurant allows for a very comfortable yet affordable dining experience.

It’s a place where you get to eat with hundreds of other diners from all walks of life — a nice way to meet people without having to travel far and spend more. It’s where you can feel at home.IMG_8431

At the Tinian Dynasty Hotel & Casino, you have other options for an unforgettable culinary journey: Sagano, Dynasty Court, Casino Café & Roulette Bar, Monster Pizza, BBQ Pit and a 24-hour room service.??

The ballroom buffet is open for breakfast from 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. daily, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. for dinner every day except Wednesday and Sunday.IF

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

First published at the Marianas Variety here

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.

Tandoori flavors at the Taste of India

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Tandoori Chicken

I HAD always planned to try out the Taste of India ever since it moved to a new location in Garapan last year, but the plan remained a plan, until last Saturday when I was out looking for a place to have lunch with a friend.

As I entered the restaurant I held my breath, preparing for the familiar smell of curry to greet my nostrils, but there was none. There was no lunch buffet and only a couple of tables were occupied.We headed straight to a corner table for two next to the glass wall and we were greeted by restaurant manager Aji Thomas Mandumpala who handed us menus. My companion immediately decided to try Gobi 65 — deep fried cauliflower coated with spiced batter and served with catsup for dipping.I browsed through the Tandoori Treasures section and decided I wanted the tandoori chicken, one of the must-try dishes at the Taste of India. Aji recommended a rich thick sauce in which I could dip my bread but I decided to have my chicken on a sizzling platter instead.
The chicken was marinated overnight in mughlai masala and yogurt and then grilled over charcoal in a tandoor oven. Our order arrived very soon, the half chicken sliced into four for $8.95, and served with vegetables sizzling on a platter that attracted the attention of the other diners.The smell was heavenly and it required patience to wait for it to cool down a bit before I could dig into it.IMG_4396I also wanted to order the Naan from the Indian bread menu but Thomas said it would take a long time to prepare in the oven but other breads were readily available: Paratha, Chappathi, Bhattura and Poori.I ordered one Chappathi, an Indian flatbread which was cut into quarters on a plate.

Dining at the Taste of India won’t be complete without the Indian Masala tea which you can order hot or cold. The pouring ceremony was a sight to behold. It required a lot of skill and I held my breath as Aji held the teapot high above and skillfully poured the tea straight into a cup.

The other Tandoori Treasures are chicken tikka, tandoori shrimp, fish tikka, and chicken kabab — all within the $10.95 to $12.95 range.

Start off with garden fresh green salad or, if you like it hot, order the Masala Papad, a typical Indian crispy fried appetizer with crushed pepper corn on top. For soup, try the mulluguthani, a Indian soup based on lentils and seasoned with cumin, turmeric, garlic and garnished with fresh coriander leaves. There’s also the tomato-based, slightly spiced Indian soup.

Other appetizers are Chicken 65 — deep fried chicken cubes marinated in spiced Indian sauce; Samosa or pyramid shaped stuffed with chicken, beef or vegetables; and Pakoras, deep fried chicken or vegetable dip in seasoned chickpeas

For curry lovers, there’s butter chicken masala, chicken makhani, kadai chicken, chicken do pyaza and chicken spinach.

There’s also beef, lamb, pork, fish and shrimp specialties.

The Taste of India offers vegetarians a selection of dishes below the $10 price range: channa masala or chick pease with north Indian masala, vegetables chettinadu or fresh vegetables sautéed with onion masala and tamarind pulp, aloogobi or potato and cauliflower blended with light Indian masala

Try the beef or chicken biriyani, long grain rice and spiced lamb or chicken prepared in south Indian style — a full meal by itself.

Cap your meal with Lassi: “a mind-blowing yogurt-based Indian drink available in flavors of mango, sweet, salty or plain.”

Kids’ menu is also IMG_4353available at the Taste of India. Try the cheese naan, chicken nuggets, veggie noodles and egg fried rice for less than $5.

At the Taste of India, you also get to listen to Indian music or watch a movie on the LCD screens mounted on the walls.IMG_4416

The Taste of India can seat up to 60 persons and is open for lunch buffet from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for $8.95 per person and ala carte dinner Monday to Friday. The Tandoori Night dinner buffet is from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays for $10.95 and ala carte on Sundays. The restaurant accepts reservations for private parties such as birthdays, weddings and other occasions. Credit cards are accepted.

For inquiries or reservation, visit the Taste of India in Garapan across from Jonny’s Bar or call 233-8448.

First published at the Marianas Variety HERE

– See more at: http://www.mvariety.com/special-features/out-to-eat/58873-tandoori-flavors-at-the-taste-of-india

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