Friday, April 25, 2008

No Smoking Trend on Saipan

One of my first non-smoking restaurant experiences here on Saipan, was at 360 The Revolving Restaurant. Besides the great view, great service and food, it was just so pleasant to sit and enjoy my food without smelling smoke or being concerned about breathing it in. I could enjoy the good smell of the food, and go home with my nice clean smelling hair still nice, too. So of course, we come back to 360 often. I read in today's paper that our lawmakers are now considering non-smoking laws in our enclosed public places - restaurants, bars, etc. I hope they go forward with doing something good for the CNMI by protecting the health of restaurant workers and non-smoking customers. But even if they don't, I want to wholeheartedly praise the restaurants that have already put their best foot forward, took a little risk, and had the guts to protect our health. My GREAT THANKS to each of you! Harry and I will be happily patronizing your restaurants, and invite our friends to do the same. Sadly, there are still some restaurants where I enjoy the food and would like to eat there more often, but I am not willing to battle the smoke. I have actually walked out of these restaurants a few times, and gone elsewhere due to smoke.
Those are: (ASH TRAY group)
Saigon Vietnamese - good food, good price, but it often has smokers in a very small room so we can't escape it.
Hong Wan - good food, fair price, good service, but again no escape from the smokers, as they don't seem to have a no smoking area.
Grotto Restaurant - great food, kind of pricey, but a small room with no escape from smoke.
Guangzhao Restaurant - good food, good price, but small with no escape from smoke.
Truong's - good food, fair price, with a no smoking area, but it still permeates the room and drifts towards the non-smoking tables.
Hyatt Kili Lounge and Giovanni's - Excellent food, a little pricey, claims to have a no smoking area, but still sits smokers near a non-smoking table. At that price, I want to enjoy my dining experience, so we probably go there alot less than we would if it were smoke free.
Shirley's - I like to go there for breakfast, but the smoke is often overwhelming, so we rarely go.
Bobby Cadillac's - We like to eat here and make sure we're in the non-smoking area in front of the air con, so it keeps the smoke blowing away.
Marianas Resort - One of my favorite places to hang out is the Marianas Resort Spa. Now you would think a spa would be smoke free, as it bills itself as a healthy place, etc. But sadly, you would be wrong. They do have no smoking signs around the spa in various places, but they let customers smoke in the cafe. So I usually get my drink or snack and leave the cafe to eat in a non-smoking area.
The restaurants that we enjoy the most and eat at often because they are smoke free are:
(we'll call this the BLUE RIBBON group)
Hawaii Bar and Grill - good food, plenty of food and good prices. Thanks Andrew, for a healthy place to eat good food!
Tony Roma's and Capricciosa - it used to be a pain, as we had to walk through the smoke to be seated and to pay our bill, but THANKS for going smoke free, it's a dramatic improvement.
360 Revolving Restaurant- great relaxing place with lunchtime specials.
PIC - price and location keep us from going very often, but we enjoy our visits when we do go.
Oleai Beach Bar and Grill - we eat outside at Oleai to purposely avoid smoke. The view is awesome, food is ok, price is fair. Depending on the wind, we might sometimes have to tolerate some smoke. But for the most part, the ocean side seating keeps us coming there every weekend.
Yes, dining on Saipan is definitely becoming more appealing with the current no-smoking trend. I thank you - my lungs thank you - and probably my health insurance supplier thanks you, too.
Have a great smoke free day!

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