Houston >Restaurants > Andalucia Tapas Restaurant & Bar
1204 Caroline St, Houston, TX | Directions 7700229.753928 -95.364053
Mon-Thu 11am - 10pm; Fri 11am - 12am; Sat 5pm - 12am
Neighborhoods: Central, Downtown
Best Tapas place in Houston! – SUCH AN AWESOME PLACE! Great food, atmosphere, and location. I wish the US dinned on tapas. Spain has it right. Delicious food and drinks! Cheers!
Wonderful Food and Entertainment – This is our favorite place for authentic Spanish food and flamenco music and dancers. We enjoy taking our friends to this restaurant for the excellent food and entertainment. One of our favorite tapas is the chicken croquettes. We have so many favorite tapas I can't remember all the names.
NOT WORTH IT – We went for Happy Hour at 5 pm on a Wednesday and it was EMPTY! Not only was it empty - the staff acted as if we were Invisible and intruding. We asked the bartender for the HH specials and looked at us like were dumb and said there were no HH specials (Even though the chalkboard overhead said Happy Hour!). Proceeded to order sangria and the bf ordered a beer. Sangria tasted like watered down punch (7$ for a short glass at that) and the bartender poured my bf the wrong beer. I would expect this if the place was packed but we were the only ones at the bar. Later another shift came in and told us there was a happy hr menu (tapas only) and were amazed the other guys hadn’t given us the HH menus. We ordered some tapas which were good (machego cheese and jamon serano, asparagus w/jamon, and chorizo). Their specialty cocktails are worth a try – everything else was mediocre, overpriced, and service was horrible!
Unpleasant Experience – It starts with the address: the restaurant is on the opposite corner and no parking. Well, this is not much of a complaint since it's in downtown, but no valet available? I had to wait for about 10 minutes for a valet to show up. The worst of my fears with valets is to have my car going around town while I am dining. It seems that it happened this day. When we left the restaurant, I was the first one from our party to ask for my car and the last one to get it. I even had to wait for other costumers to get their car before me. When the car finally arrived, I could tell the engine had been on for a while and couple of miles had been added.
The restaurant was incredibly crowded, which required great management - there was none that day, only chaos.
It was a friend's b-day, and I arrived about 15 minutes later than our reservation time. My friends had not been seated yet because the restaurant requires more than 50 % of the party present in order to seat guests. It's understandable, but we were more than 50 % of our party when I arrived and still had to wait in sardine style. When we were finally seated and the waiter finally arrived, I asked for a glass of water. The waiter told me he would bring us water all at the same time. After half an hour, the water had not arrived, so I headed to the bar because I was incredibly thirsty. After waiting and starring at bar tenders for about 5 minutes, someone was finally kind to serve me a glass of water. So I returned to our table. After some 15 more minutes, the waiter returned and took some orders, not everyone thought, which was a bit strange. I also did not have my glass of water refilled. The food was ok, it won't make be go back for it, though. The service is one of the worst I had ever had in all my years of dining out.The only good experience I had was the Flamenco group, which was entertaining. It was also the reason my friend wanted to celebrate here birthday at this place. However, the most important thing I look for when searching for a dining place is good service, so entertainment will never play a key role in my restaurant choices.
Tasty food... terrible service – It is sad such a nice restaurant in such a nice location can’t have a good wait staff or even a mildly competent one. I don’t know if it is the culture of the parent company but the same thing happens at their sister restaurants. You get people who don’t really greet you or want to even be there. I equate the service to a taqueria or IHOP where the first thing out of the servers mouth is “What do you want to drink?” I think our server said maybe 8 words to us across our entire meal. If the service was spectacular that would be awesome but when an item we ordered comes out 40 minutes after we ordered and 1 minute before the check, some additional communication would be appreciated. Also if you hand a customer their bill and they hand you their credit card and ask for one more drink, it should not take 20 minutes for you to bring both back.
The food is great. If you can put up with lackluster service you will enjoy your meal. Sounds odd but the wings are really great. Not what I expected at a tappas place.
What sucks is I really wanted to like this place all around but the service really prevents this.
Fun Place, Great Food! – I recently celebrated my birthday at Andalucia; I had been before and had a great time. I made the reservations for 22 people, almost all of whom had never been. The Manager was wonderful and made sure everything was going well; It made it so much easier that we could split checks! Everyone at the table had a great time! The flamenco dancers were fun. The food is always wonderful and one of my favorite parts of the menu is that 98% of the wines on the menu are less than $35. It was a wonderful birthday celebration and I will be back!
Entertainment Is the Key – The Spanish guitar and flamenco dancing are what makes this place a good dining experience. I went to the 002 grand opening and the place reminded me of being far away from Tex-Mex Houston.
The tapas are oily which makes them delicious. I'm glad tapas are such small portions.
The Sangria is refreshing but as weak as Kool-Aid. It is perfect for your grandmother, so order a red.
I know two people who have hurt themselves coming down the poorly-lit slick, stairs there, so try to find the rail before you step down. Falling down can ruin the end of the decent night.
If you've never been to Spain... – Just as I was tempted to add another star for the friendly waiter, the flamenco, decor and sound tapas, I remembered the flat screen t.v. and the desserts. This is really too bad for a place with such potential and the obvious financial backing to be a real rock star.
I took my boyfriend to Andalucia for dinner as a surprise when I learned of the weekend night flamenco. We are both flamenco aficionados and love Spanish cuisine. We were enamored with the place upon entry; with the dark woods in dim light and photos of Andalucia. A mural of a bullfighter covers the entire back wall. Then, it jumped out: the t.v. It glared at me, taunting me with garish smirks at destroying the ambiance of my chosen date spot. I can almost hear Nafaa installing it as an afterthought - "hmm, but Texans must have t.v." Please give us some credit.
The menu features all of the staples of a classic Andalucian taverna. Given the reviews, we decided to forgo the sangria and ordered a nice, reasonably priced Monastrell that was a pleasant surprise in it its full body. We begin with a round of tapas: croquetas de pollo, gambas al ajillo y albondigas. These are the three dishes that must be tested at every Spanish taverna. The croquetas, gambas and albondigas provide a foundation upon which all Spanish cuisine must be built.
Here, Andalucia did not disappoint. Each dish was traditional, delicious and with generous portions. I also enjoyed the Moroccan influence in the albondigas. The portions were surprisingly so generous that we did not end up ordering paella as intended.
Our waiter never pressured us to order more. He was amiable, swift and apologetic when a particularly large table of obnoxious women monopolized his affections. When we asked for bread to properly soak up the sauces of our dishes, he was happy to oblige. In fact, he seemed to understand that this was essential to fully enjoying gambas al ajillo!
As the flamenco was wrapping up, we decided to head out but still entertained the dessert menu. As a former pastry cook, I *always* hear out the dessert menu. Our options were flan, crème brûlée and ... wait for it...cheesecake? We just laughed. "You need to get a Spanish grandma back there," I told the waiter. Such atrocities are the very reason Americans do not acknowledge the glories of Spanish pastry. Could they not at least call it 'crema catalana' instead of crème brûlée?
A word of advice to Andalucia: give me a call. I'll create a Spanish dessert menu for you and gladly teach all of your line cooks to make them. They are simple, classic and heavenly. Trust me, your cooks will like me and your customers will thank you. Until then, I will prefer to stay at home for Spanish food, even though I have to settle for recorded flamenco, just so that I can conclude my meal with a proper crema catalana.
In a nutshell, if you have never been to Spain you will love this place and if you actually like Mi Luna, please, God help you, come here instead.
Citysearch Editorial Review – Expect a vast selection of traditional Spanish tapas in a bustling tavern environment, complete with bullfighting mural.
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