Posted by cmh gourmand on November 7, 2006
Spain Restaurant link
(Note. The location in this post closed and a new location opened in 2011)
76 Powell Rd (High St. / SR 23 and Powell Road)
Lewis Center, OH 43035
When I am at Spain, I am afraid it will be my last time. It is rarely busy even on some weekend evenings. The location – inside a Best Western Hotel, within a suburban strip that is tricky to navigate, which is in a part of town, that is no longer “hot”. The restaurant business is usually about location and such is not the case here.
Basically, patrons fall into two categories –loyal regulars who love the place and mildly surprised hotel guests that are shocked to find a restaurant like this next to the reception desk (and once they walk through the door are a bit disoriented when they were expecting a cafeteria style meal or lukewarm hamburger).
The same 3-4 servers are there every time I am. These guys are true professionals – dressed in tuxedos and maintaining playful formality. The restaurant is semi upscale in décor and adornments but the atmosphere is very informal – patrons are often in jean or shorts and you can see hotel patrons flocking to the pool as you look out the interior windows of Spain. Service is top notch – you will see some theatrics when your sangria is served and never expect an empty water glass. The server may practically taunt you into getting dessert. For a touch of Spanish character – there is a mural of a matador on the wall.
The menu features the flavors of Spain – several types of Paellas as well as steaks, seafood, veal and chicken dishes with Spanish flavors and aromas. The paellas are an exceptional value and for most people one dish can easily feed a party of two (which Spain will do for a slight surcharge). The menu also includes authentic Tapas, homemade Sangria and exceptional desserts, including one of the best flans, I have ever had. The extensive wine list features many Spanish wines (which are now coming into style). All meals (lunch and diner) are served with fresh rolls with whipped butter and the soup of the day. Dinners are also served with a side of vegetables and thinly sliced potatoes. For your first visit – order a paella. I also suggest the Salmon Relleno – a filet of salmon stuffed with crab, scallops, and shrimp. Lunch is an incredible deal. The menu is more limited but the prices are great – nothing over $10.95, including the paella.
Paella is a typical Spanish dish. It is named for the paellera – a round flat pan with two handles – that the meal is cooked in. At Spain the dish is 13 inches wide and 5 inches deep.
At Spain the Paella includes a bed of saffron rice cooked with onions, bell peppers, olive oil, garlic, sea salt and a few peas. Added to this are mussels, shrimp, clams, scallops and langostinos (Spanish for prawns). This version is called Paella Marinera. Spain then adds Spanish Chorizo (spicy sausage) and chicken for the combination known as Paella Valenciana.
Churrascaria – Brazillian Stye Grill (No Chupacapra here)
If we eat there more often and ask frequently – maybe this will come back!
Churrascaria is a Brazilian style of cooking and serving skewered meat. Spain did this on Friday and Saturday evenings for quite a while but stopped in October 2006 due to low turn out. The meats included – pork sausage, roast pork loin, both breast and boneless leg of chicken, lamb, NY strip and top sirloin. Cost was $21.95. It was fun. I would love to see this come back. Let’s make this happen.
Another Surprise – Spain Night Club?
Spain also has a separate, enclosed bar that offers salsa, bachata and merenge for local latin dance lovers.
Sad postscript – Owner Jorge Michalowski passed away in January 2007.