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Houston's new Tex-Mex power? Behind the scenes at a restaurant with historical ambition

El Tiempo Cantina Returns To Its Roots
The jumbo crab meat nachos in progress at El Tiempo Cantina. Video still
El Tiempo Cantina - Navigation
Get Directions - 2814 Navigation Blvd. Houston

Even by Texas standards, the El Tiempo Cantina on Navigation is a mammoth operation, with the 8,400 square feet Tex Mex eatery churning pounds and pounds of fajitas, enchiladas, tacos, queso and specialties with the signature flavors of the Lorenzo family.

But this relatively new East End establishment holds a special meaning for the Lorenzos: The location is where Ninfa Lorenzo — endearingly known as Mama Ninfa — opened her original restaurant. Many locals credit her for popularizing fajitas.

It's also right next to the Original Ninfa's On Navigation, now a Tex-Mex rival.

As part of the 713News series "HTown HotSpots," reporter Cyndi Garcia goes behind the scenes with chef Domenic Lorenzo to learn how the jumbo crab meat nachos and the deep fried cheese chile rellenos smothered in salsa ranchero are made.

Secret from the chef? More cheese is always better.

Watch the video above (or click here) to journey along with Garcia in this foodie adventure.

Editor's note: Hidden Houston, an interactive multimedia series, aims to reveal the many things that are unique about the Bayou City and its surrounding areas.

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