Nuts & Grains a healthier choice for the family

by Ken Stewart
The Guam Food Guy

Nuts & Grains is one of those places that just sort of grows on you, in a good way, that is. Located in Tamuning’s Oka Plaza behind Pay-Less Supermarket, Nuts & Grains has been catering to many health-conscious people for a number of years, serving special lunches (mainly vegetarian with some meat options) as well as selling health food products in their grocery section.

Owned by Libby Pier, Nuts & Grains is a favorite spot for discriminating diners who want to eat responsibly, but who also want to enjoy the food they eat. They are more widely-known as a health food store, and the restaurant is really kind of an added-on embellishment.

I have made it my favorite place to get my “Food Guy” special smoothie (mango, strawberry, banana with whey protein), which I usually order by calling Shane, Libby’s son, when I need a quick and healthy meal replacement I can drink while on the go. However, it’s when I go to the store with the express purpose of eating there, that I really find a special solace and relaxation just from being there that elevates the meal to more of a spiritual retreat.

Ordering is simple at Nuts & Grains. You just walk up to the counter and read from the menu boards posted on the walls behind it. They serve two kinds of quiche daily, as well as a special soup. Today’s choices were the Spinach & Mushroom and Asparagus & Tomato Quiches ($3.50/slice), along with Split Pea Soup ($3.95/small & $4.95/large). I ordered the Spinach and Mushroom along with a small soup.

I also ordered the Nuts & Grains Burger ($6.95), which is a Garden burger on a whole wheat bun with lettuce, tomato, sprouts, and a special sauce. I even ordered a Large Smoothie (Mango/Strawberry/Banana) for $4.95, even though I had already selected an Outrageous Ginger Ale from the beverage chiller. This ginger ale is a natural brew, hand-crafted beverage that blends Jamaican and Chinese ginger roots resulting in a crisp, stimulating, and refreshing drink. Other intriguing drinks await your selection in this refrigerated display case.

There are about six small tables near the window entrance of the store. If you are alone, it’s a good place to sit and catch up on some reading, which is what can do while you wait for your order to be prepared. Or, you can walk through the aisles and peruse a variety of health food products, ranging from nuts, whole grains, granola, cereal, couscous, hummus mix, cookies, juices, crackers, soups, jams, seasonings, spices, nutrition bars, and many other hard-to-find products. Nuts & Grains is the only place on Guam to find many of the essential ingredients of Indian food.

Shane delivered my order and placed each item on my table. The Nuts & Grain Burger is served in a woven basket on a paper liner along with fat-free pretzels.

The split pea soup was so thick that my spoon just stood straight up! Along with the soup was a slice of 9-grain bread. I have had this Garden Burger a number of is a soy-protein product that has the taste and consistency of a hamburger. The alfalfa sprouts, lettuce, tomato, and special sauce just add to this, making it a really flavorful and healthful treat, all sandwiched between two whole wheat buns. Talk about guilt-free dining! The soup was delicious, yet it was so thick I could only eat half the portion, and took the rest home.

The quiche is baked earlier and re-heated in the microwave which tends to make the crust chewy rather than flaky. I still enjoyed the spinach, cheese and egg’s one of the few places on Guam where you can get a quiche of any kind, whether you are a real man or not!

Another sandwich that I’ve ordered and enjoyed is their Grilled Chicken Burger ($6.95), which is a white chicken breast (real meat) with lettuce, sprouts and tomato, served on a whole wheat bun. Nuts & Grains is probably one of the only places where you can get a peanut butter and honey or banana sandwich.

They also have a veggie sandwich, tuna sandwich, egg salad sandwich, turkey sandwich, a Greek pita and falafel pita. Nuts & Grains also features a modest selection of salads.

While I was enjoying my lunch and talking to some other diners, I noticed a mother and her three kids had come in and were eating some soft-serve frozen yogurts in small cups.

Nuts and Grains is open Monday-Saturday, from 10am- 6pm. They also offers take out service; call 646-9358 to place your orders in advance.

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