Back in college I played lacrosse for a couple years with a tight knit group of guys from another fraternity on campus. They were an alright bunch of guys, no better or worse than my own circle of friends. Like us, they developed the colloquialisms, codewords and nicknames that seem to thrive in relatively isolated groups of young men. A number of them were government majors and one of my favorites that they used was to refer to ‘Hobbes‘ a great deal. I thought they were mentioning the author of The Leviathan of course, and they were – indirectly. It was actually H.o.B.s, and it referred to an off-campus apartment shared by a several girls, also government majors, who were renowned for their expansive endowments: “House of Boobs.”
Yesterday I had the chance to try out House of Brutus, the hot new restaurant on Guam that is creating a lot of buzz. Frankly I was skeptical that a chic restaurant could be located in the ITC building of all places, but the place was hopping with the beautiful people crowd at lunch. The décor was very trendy, all dark wood and deep green with recessed lighting on the walls and abstract lamps scattered amongst the low tables and pipe railing. HoBs also features giant pictures hung from the walls of trendy looking people living the café life. It was so damn cool I thought my head would explode.
I found the lunch menu rather expensive. Hamburgers start at $8.95 and most lunch entrees hovered around $12.95 for the salads and pasta dishes. That’s pretty damn steep, but then I guess they need to recoup their investment in all that dark wood paneling and green paint. I ordered the Shogun Beef Sandwich; seared yakinuku beef and cole slaw on a bun. That was $9.95 for the sandwich and 5 onion rings. And how was the food? Well it didn’t exactly set me on fire. The sandwich was good, but I sure don’t think it was a $10 sandwich. Though I have to admit, it was the first time I’ve ever eaten a sandwich with cole slaw in the sandwich. My fellow diners both got different burgers and they came with cole slaw inside the bun too. That must be H.o.B’s gimmick for their sandwiches, slather them in cole slaw.
So would I go back? Maybe, but next time I go eat at the ITC building, I’ll be eating at Pho Noodle House, not HoBs. Their food is really good, and damn affordable too. I’ve been going there for years and I love the food. The décor at Pho’s is just formica tables, plain carpeting and vinyl tablecloths, and the music is a caterwaul of Vietnamese pop, but I much prefer to eat good food there in unobtrusive obscurity than mediocre expensive food in a bubble chamber full of Guamish yuppies.