Tapas with Substance

1252 Tapas moved into Houston from The Woodlands and just got better and better.

That's not to say that every single dish is a winner, of course. A terrific bowl of tender pulpitos (baby octopus) in an ink sauce so nimble and light that I wanted to sop it all up with everything in the bread basket on one visit was offset by a stodgy dish of chorizo and fingerling potatoes that was sorely lacking in salt. And on that same visit, a bowl of good — if uninspired — paella was only really "good" in comparison to the gambas a la diabla, which was full of beautiful, plump fresh shrimp (which is a lovely trend here) but packed none of the spicy or smoky wallop promised by its "bacon and spicy tomato sauce."

But 1252 Tapas does get creative where it counts. Although the Spanish wine list and sangrias are more than adequate for the restaurant, I was surprised to find my favorite adult beverage was a tres leches cocktail at the end of my last of three meals there. I'll even admit that I ordered it as a joke — trying to decide between it and a "campfire" cocktail with marshmallow liqueur and red hots — and expected to take one or two sips before polishing off the churros I'd ordered for "real" dessert.

The joke was on me, however. Because that tres leches cocktail — delicate and well-balanced, with a brandy base that reminded me more of a classic Brandy Milk Punch than the overly sweet sugar-bomb I expected — was one of the best drinks I've had all year. It even tasted exactly like a slice of terrifically moist tres leches, sans the cake. And although I still tore through the soft, doughy churros that arrived a few minutes later, licking the cinnamon sugar from my fingers as I went, I spent the rest of the afternoon marveling over that tres leches cocktail and what a great surprise it was. 1252 Tapas is nothing if not wonderfully full of those.

A perfectly portioned four-course "box lunch" is only $12.52.
Troy Fields
A perfectly portioned four-course "box lunch" is only $12.52.

Location Info


1252 Tapas

1101 Uptown Park Blvd.
Houston, TX 77056

Category: Restaurant > Spanish

Region: Galleria


Hours: 11 a.m. to midnight Mondays to Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Thursdays to Saturdays, noon to 6 p.m. Sundays
Pa'amb tomàquet: $4
Melon con jamón serrano: $8
Pulpitos en su tinta: $8
Roasted asparagus: $8
Empanadas de res: $9
Morcilla: $9.50
Goat cheese with roasted vegetables: $12
Paella: $14

SLIDESHOW: Small Plates with Substance at 1252 Tapas
BLOG POST: Small Plates the Right Way at 1252 Tapas

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Sarah Gabbart
Sarah Gabbart

My husband and I just had lunch there! We were going to hit up Etoile, but they were fully booked. The Cafe Express was packed to the brim and my husband saw this place. We were a little worried, being the only two people in the restaurant on a busy Tuesday, but were very pleasantly surprised! The service was great and the food was even better - can't wait to go back.