Marianas Variety

Last updateTue, 19 Dec 2017 12am







    Monday, December 18, 2017-6:30:46P.M.






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Holiday delights

One group of local restaurants headed by Triple J Enterprises promises to fill every culinary wish and delight for the holiday season, all you have to do is decide what you would like to enjoy.

From Garapan to Chalan Kanoa, Tony Roma’s, Capriciossa, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Truong’s, Great Harvest Bread Company and Surf Club are all coming together to give you a holiday dining experience like no other.

Roasted Pumpkin Cream Linguine at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

The fun and adventure waiting at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. offers a different and exciting way to celebrate the holidays this year, including tasty new dishes from the shores of London and possibly, from our very own local recipes.

One of the world’s most popular global franchises, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. was inspired by the award winning movie Forest Gump and offers an array of Southern style home cooking from amazing seafood to delectable barbecue baby back ribs, sandwiches and salads.

“There is more than just good eating here at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.,” smiles general manager Ringo Medina, who has over ten years in a managing Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. in Manila and Saipan. “It is an entire dining experience that is super fun, entertaining and where we make sure every second is worthwhile.”

Walking into Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. in Garapan transports you not only into the wonderful world of Forest Gump, but also into a modern open space designed to be comfortable as a home but as lively as a family gathering.

With enough booths and tables to fit over 200 guests inside, a retail store filled with popular souvenirs from the movie and a room called Gump’s House for 30 to 40 guests for private parties, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is a great venue for all your special occasion needs or for just a night out.

“We have delicious food, great service, and it is like nowhere else on Saipan,” said Executive Chef Ben Babauta. “This holiday season, we have Roasted Pumpkin Cream Linguine and Turkey Scallop, approved recipes from our London store. We are also submitting our local Shrimp Kelaguen recipe for approval and we hope to have that soon.”

Babauta whose culinary journey began on a whim to Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute in Las Vegas, discovered a passion for home style cooking and found a perfect fit with Bubba Gump’s focus on comfort food.

“This is Southern style home food, with warm bread pudding, fried chicken, shrimp skewers, mashed potatoes—a little different from island comfort food, but still comfort food. If you haven’t tried Cajun or Creole style food, this is the place to try it,” said Babauta.

Medina’s favorite dishes are the Cajun Shrimp appetizer and the Shrimper’s Heaven, a large selection of fried, tempura, grilled, and coconut shrimps, all in one with golden crispy fries.

While waiting for your freshly made orders, the friendly staff at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. will entertain you with a bit of trivia from Forest Gump or riddles in case you have yet to see the movie.

“All you have to do is come here hungry and we will make sure you will leave here satisfied and entertained,” said Medina.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. accepts reservations at 234-0000 and is open from 10am to 10pm Monday to Sunday.

Delicious holiday dishes at Tony Roma’s, Capriciossa, and Surf Club

The red fired bricks and deep mahogany wood interior at Tony Roma’s in Garapan invites guests into the romantic allure of the open grill flame, says general manager Atsushi Aoki.

It is the perfect place to unwind, enjoy tenderly cooked meals and satisfy the craving for barbecue, a very popular cooking tradition of the islands.

Known worldwide for its famous barbecue ribs, Tony Roma’s is a favorite for those craving the delectable taste of grilled dishes served in large portions.

This holiday season, Tony Roma’s is adding its famous touch to the traditional Roasted Turkey with a side of BBQ Ribs, creamy Mashed Potatoes and a choice of a side dish.

Tony Roma’s is also featuring new item menus for lunch and dinner, such the Sliders Trio with Pulled Pork, Egg Burger and Kickin’ Shrimp.

“My favorite part of the holidays is seeing people have a great time in our restaurants and spending that time with co-workers,” said Aoki, who manages Tony Roma’s, Capriciossa, Truong’s and Surf Club.

Capriciossa, a haven for pasta and pizza lovers, is only a step away and is offering a holiday inspired dish: Roasted Turkey Pizza.

“We have to keep to our Italian tradition and roots at Capriciossa so the pizza goes perfectly with the holidays and with Italian cooking,” said Aoki.

Truongs Restaurant in Susupe offers Vietnamese cuisine, with its popular Fried Lumpia, spicy Lemon Grass Chicken and Beef Noodle Soup in family style dishes.

“We have yet to think of a holiday dish to fit in with this Asian style of cooking, but with our creativity, who knows, we might just have one,” laughs Aoki. “This is a great getaway for those who would like to take a break and try something different.”

Surf Club in Chalan Kanoa is an escape all on its own.

Nestled on a beach, Surf Club has expansive views on the ocean and is the epitome of celebrating the holidays on the island.

It is where you could wiggle your toes into warm sand, watch the dazzling sunset and enjoy a plate of Roasted Turkey and Grilled Salmon to celebrate the holidays.

“At Surf Club, this is where the beach can be enjoyed with good food, ice cold drinks and live entertainment,” said Aoki. “We have American and local cuisine here with photo worthy scenery.”

All four restaurants accept reservations and are open daily from 11am to 11pm.

Turkey Goddess Sandwich at Great Harvest Bread Co.

With fresh wheat berries from Montana, a part of the U.S. Golden Triangle, arrives on Saipan to be freshly milled into flour right before baking into Artisan bread, you know you are dealing with seriously good sandwiches.

And with Head Baker Donovan Castro at Great Harvest Bread Co. in Chalan Kanoa, suddenly there is a better reason to check out the Turkey Goddess Sandwich after daily stop at the post office.

With your choice of bread, tender roasted turkey piled on with Havarti Cheese and with signature Avocado Goddess sauce—the holidays just found a sandwich.

“We are only offering this sandwich for the month of November, so hurry on in. We are also now offering Flour or Corn Tortillas and you can have it as a wrap, with gluten-free choices,” said Castro, who just returned from immersion training in Montana.

“We do not use shortening or preservatives, even use our own fresh honey instead of sugar—Great Harvest calls for food done right and we strive to perfect that every day,” he said. “Our Bread Board has a variety of samples for anyone to try our treats before buying—it is a whole lot of fun.”

As a chef, baking has challenged him in ways he finds most inspiring—especially knowing that bread has life, with yeast rising and ingredients coming together to make the perfect roll.

One such creation is the Cranberry Orange Roll or Loaf, with robust flavors of dried cranberries and fresh oranges, it packs a punch and is perfect to pair with holiday dishes.

“It is like it has its own jam imbedded in the bread, no middle man,” laughs Castro. “It is definitely one of my favorites.”

As a freedom franchise, Great Harvest Bread Co., has the ability to create its own menu items to suit the local market needs and something Castro prides himself with.

“Out of the 290 global locations, we are the first to offer the tortillas on a larger scale,” he smiled. “And we have a lot more we plan to offer.”

With gift bags, bread baskets, freshly whipped butter packages and soon, honey jars, Great Harvest Bread Co., can make shopping for holiday gifts a lot easier.

On top of that, the freshly brewed Pumpkin Spice and Egg Nog Lattes, Peppermint Bars, and Cashew Crunch are a definite must try to get into the holiday spirit.

With deliveries now available, open 7am to 6pm Monday to Sunday, give Great Harvest Bread Company a call, your taste buds will thank you.