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Feb 1, 2008 07:00 AM

Spanish/Portugese in Central NJ (Somerset Cty)

Can anyone recommend a good Spanish or Portugese restaurant in Central NJ (in or around Somerset County)? Preferably one with good sangria (Happy Friday!)


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  1. Spain 92 ( on 202 in Raritan had good sangria and excellent food. However when my wife and I went we had a very long wait (over an hour I think).

    I had tried for reservations but they told me they weren't necessary. I guess they just don't take reservations. That was annoying.

    4 Replies
    1. re: amf09

      I am surprised to hear that you liked the food at Spain 92. My family and I adored this place in it's previous location but after they moved we thought the food went seriously down hill (and we stopped going after giving them the benefit of the doubt at least three times.) And I have heard the same thing from other people as well. Maybe they finally realized the mistakes they were making (a lot of corner cutting, use of much cheaper ingredients then they used to use, etc.) and things have improved again? I'd love to hear from others who have dined there recently.

      1. re: flourgirl

        I'm with you, Flourchild ...uh....Flourgirl. Spain (the restaurant, not the country, silly!) is about fifteen minutes down the road from us, and is very disappointing. Aside from the long wait for a table, as far as their 'Stuffed Lobster Special' goes, they can stuff it, permanently. Spain, like so very many over rated places in Jersey, is mediocrity personified. It's a damn shame but, truth is (I am presently prepared to duck under my desk in order to avoid the dozens of darts about to come my way) most people in Jersey are spoiled in reverse. It's like that old blues song 'Been down so long, it seems like up to me.' The food this side of the Hudson (with some notable exceptions, of course) is generally so bad that for many, it seems like good to them.

        1. re: mmgpsych

          "The food this side of the Hudson (with some notable exceptions, of course) is generally so bad that for many, it seems like good to them."

          Unfortunately, I find this to be absolutely true. My husband and I are constantly amazed at the amount of downright crappy restaurants in NJ that somehow manage to stay in business - and not just stay in business but draw crowds to boot! It's a head scratcher.

          1. re: mmgpsych

            I know zip about Spain92, mmgpsych, but with regard to your take on Jersey restaurants and diners, a very vociferous "Amen, Brother!!" [That should deflect at least a few of those darts from your direction towards moi! :-)) ]

      2. Princessgirl, you might try Tapastre in Somerville. It's not Spanish per se but there are a number of Spanish items on the menu (along with foods from other countries that border the Mediterranean). And the sangria is good!

        1. It may be too far from you but Malaga on Laylor Street in Trenton serves excellent Portugese dishes. Their prices are reasonable, portions are large, they have a decent wine list and the service is excellent. Downside is it's in Trenton.

          1. It may be a haul for you. but please try Rio Mar in South river. can't help being good, SR is settled by the Potrugese recently and they make banging sangria

            5 Replies
            1. re: currymouth

              The Ria Mar will be celbrating its 20 anniv. soon and is great. Equally good, and with easier access for you is Costa Verde on Rt 9 S., just before the Sayreville exit.

              1. re: Passadumkeg

                Thanks, everyone. I've been to Spain 92 in the past year and it was fair. They were much better in their old location (which I believe is now a Mexican restaurant). Since it was such an ugly evening on Friday, we decided not to venture too far from home and ended up at Mugs in Raritan for some "picky" food and a pitcher of Sangria. Wasn't high-end, but food and service were both good and fit the bill for a cold, rainy night. Next date night will travel.

                1. re: princessgirl

                  I've always liked Mugs for just that kind of night.

                  1. re: flourgirl

                    A couple weeks ago, we turned around at the door of a very busy new Mexican restaurant (sorry can't remember the name - went back the next afternoon and was quite impressed - the one in the old Spain 92 space), we ended up a Mugs - pleasantly surprised at quality of food. Chatted with owner, who offered to make up a good-sounding pasta dish for my vegetarian wife next time. There will be a next time, sooner than we expected, and not as a fall-back.

                    1. re: fpatrick

                      Mexican restaurant's name is 2 Amigos. Drove by yesterday. I think this place has changed hands a few times since the old Spain days. Is it a BYO? What did you have?

            2. Try Gabriellas on Main Street in Somerville. They don't serve wine BUT they will add fruit and juice to your BYO bottle- and there is a wine shop, Discover Wine, down the street. Instant sangria.

              I have had their cod (liked it) and their bacon-wrapped chicken (liked it alot).