I found myself with some time to kill on a recent trip to NY / NJ; tapas was the most appealing option within walking distance so I decided to try the Spanish Pavilion. With no idea what to expect, I walked in around 3pm planning to sit at the bar for a late lunch. I took it as good sign that the place was packed (even better, when I realized they were locals who all seemed to know each other and the staff). Everyone was friendly and nice, and I chatted with them a bit before deciding on my order.
I started with the white bean stew and was pleasantly surprised when it arrived. For $4 this was a meal in itself; it came in a huge bowl, and was filled with chunks of chorizo and braised pork. The combination of beans and pork worked very well together, and the stew came with plenty of bread for dipping. Not expecting it to be so large, I asked the bartender to pack half so I’d have room to try the other tapas I’d ordered. The clams with piquillo peppers and chorizo came next. This was also a large bowl, not quite as filling as the stew, but still much bigger than the tapas I’m used to. It was a challenge, but I ate all of clams so I wouldn’t be taking seafood to go. They were delicious, cooked perfectly in a spicy broth, and came with more large chunks of chorizo. My final course was a ham and cheese plate and at this point I was stuffed, but tried one piece each before taking the rest to go. All of my leftovers made a great snack before heading into the city for a concert and late dinner. At $30 including tip, this seemed like a steal - two meals worth of excellent food plus my caffeine for the day (coffee and diet coke). I’m not sure when I’ll find myself in Newark NJ again, but if I do I will definitely go back.