Spain Inn 2 in Asbury (Hunterdon County) NJ
Spain Inn 2 is decent. Keeping in mind that this was in impulse, spur of the moment dinner out for just me and my steak-loving 10 year-old daughter, and neither of us had heard or read anything about the restaurant so went without high expectations or preconceived notions, we were very satisfied with the food and the place.
I started with gazpacho. It was different from the gazpacho I've had in other places, but delicious. It was a very dark red, very liquid broth soup, as opposed to a gazpacho that is like a chunky salsa. However, the broth had a delicious tomato flavor full of pieces of onion, tomato, garlic, fresh parsley, and other herbs and vegetables.
My daughter ordered their "small" steak, the Medio Bistec De Lomo, a 16 - 18oz sirloin. ($19.95). It was simply prepared (just salt & pepper, no sauces, etc.), cooked perfectly, and a very nice piece of meat. I ordered the skewers (not sure what they are called on the menu) ($29.95) which was two skewers, each with a substantial chunk of filet mignon wrapped in bacon, a dark red sausage, a scallop wrapped in bacon, a shrimp, and chunks of pepper, onion, and other vegetables, on skewers suspended over a dish of sauce for dipping. The pieces of filet mignon were very good, and enough for a meal themselves. The scallop and shrimp were not particularly good; did not seem fresh and were a bit overcooked.
The meals came with mashed potatoes, saffron rice, and freshly made potato "chips."
The service was excellent. Our waiter was very professional, knowledgeable about the dishes, friendly, and accomodating to my daughter's requests. The owner (or manager) came to the table after the meal with a complementary glass of almond liqueur for me.
Other diners (and the room was full on this Sunday evening, a good sign for a restaurant that's been around nearly ten years) all appeared to be enjoying their meals. Several very large lobsters were served to the table near us and we overheard the accolades from those diners. Next visit I will try the seafood or a paella.
All-in-all, Spain Inn 2 is worth a try, particularly for Hunterdon County residents who in the mood for Spanish/Portuguese food without the trek to Newark.
Spain Inn 2
1045 State Route 173, Asbury, NJ 08802
It's just OK. It's better than the Spain Inn on Route 202 (which isn't saying much). The paella was decent and the sangria was pretty good. We also had the shrimp mariscada (sp.?) which was OK. It's definitely not like the places in Newark, but for Hunterdon County, it's the best you're going to get.