Guam Diner Bytes: Drop-Off Bar & Grill

by Ken Stewart
The Guam Food Guy

It's always great to discover a new and exciting place to eat, especially when you are in Palau! I had been told to try the Drop Off while at Guam's airport on my way to Palau on a Sunday night so it was near the very top of my very short list for this extremely short (2 day) trip! Though "new" to me, it was built specifically for the Survivor Palau Episodes that were filmed on location in Palau. This was the 10th in the series for Survivor and the Drop-Off Bar & Grill was where the crew and contestants would congregate before boarding the shuttle boats to their shoot locations. It's a covered open air bar that is right on the dock. It has a scenic harbor view .

Drop-Off is famous for is SEBUS (deep-sea snappers), which are caught between 500 and 900 feet. There are several different species of Sebus, which include the Ruby Red, the Opakapaka, Sebus Onaga, Metengui (Rusty Jobfish), Etelis Radiosus, and Randallichthys filamentosus. Safe to say you can ask your server (the effervescent "Vee" was ours) and she'll tell you what their fresh catch is. Usually they bring something in every day. The Drop-Off has plenty more to offer, boasting a full menu of Western-style and Asian dining options ranging from Nachos, sashimi, Philly Cheese Steak Sub, BLT, Hot Dogs, Udon, Ramen, Quesadillas, Burritos, Spaghetti Bolognese, Pizza, Fish or Beef Kebabs, Rib-Eye Steaks, and Fried Chicken Wings.

I was with my friend Robert, his girl friend Ivanna and her brother, Michael. It was our first meal together so it was a great way to become new friends as we ordered several dishes to try out for this late lunch review. The first to arrive was the Sashimi Poki ($9.50). Talk about fresh poki! The sesame seeds, furikake ,onions, garlic, sesame oil, light soy sauce, and lemon juice all combined atop a bed of shredded cabbage and carrots. This was awesome eating and definitely a wonderful way to start off the meal.

Our next dish to arrive was the Meat Lover's Pizza (large - $17.50). I didn't think I'd be eating pizza in Palau, but I will admit that it was pretty tasty (especially with my adding more crushed red pepper. The crust could have been a little more done on the bottom...I like mine crisp and crunchy. Ivanna had ordered a Ramen Chicken with Egg ($5.50), which looked pretty good (she seemed to really like it)!

When the Blackened Sashimi ($8.50) was delivered the group made an audible gasp of pleasure and anticipation. I felt a little bit of pressure when I was taking a few photos of this magnificent platter of perfectly seared fresh ruby red ahi tuna (seemed that people didn't want to wait, and I was one of them!!!). This is a dish that I could eat all day long! There was just a bit of heat from the cajun spice but that was soon washed away by the chardonnay (served in a Stella Artois chalice).

While I had wanted to try the Ruby Red, they had something like a white snapper, so I ordered the menu preparation which was a Pan-Fried Almondine with Salad and Rice ($11.50). This was certainly a substantial amount of food with several filets of fish covered in almonds and sauce. The flavor was quite good and would have been much better (for me) if it was removed from the pan a minute sooner. I'll be sure to arrive earlier for lunch or dinner on my next visit to get the Ruby Red or Onaga. I don't mind paying $6.00 more!!!

We thought we were finished and ready to settle our tab when the topic of burgers came up. Our server Vee was quite proud of the burgers at the Drop-Off and told me that I hadn't tried their burger yet. I asked which one she recommended and she said their "Tsunami" burger, which added bacon, cheese, egg, and mushrooms to their standard burger at an additional $.50/ea., bringing the price up to $10. When the burger arrived we split it into quarters so that I could at least try a few bites. It was a pretty decent burger. The additional ingredients really brought up the stature and the volume. Some had to be taken home as everyone was pretty full. To be honest, though, I wouldn't come to Palau for a burger, no matter how good...I would go crazy over the fresh seafood!!

The Drop-Off Bar & Grill is proudly owned by Shallum and Mandy Etpison. It is definitely a place for anyone visiting Palau to stop by, relax, have a beer or glass of wine, and order some delicious food that you can enjoy with family and friends. I highly recommend it! Sulang, team Drop-Off!!!

Bon Appetit!

Ken the Guam Food Guy

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