Ninfa's on Navigation
Houstonians of a certain age will trade stories about seeing Mama Ninfa Laurenzo in the dining room of her eponymous restaurant, but even the restaurant credited with popularizing fajitas can't rest on its reputation. Under the direction of executive chef Alex Padilla and the ownership of Legacy Restaurants, Ninfa's has expanded its dining rooms, upgraded its kitchen with a wood-burning grill and oven, and even improved its parking. Yes, the fajitas, queso, and margaritas remain best in class, but it's Padilla's specials that really set the restaurant apart from other Tex-Mex restaurants. Breaking with tradition to order limited-time items like wood-roasted octopus or lamb barbacoa yields big rewards.
While the Laurenzo family has moved on to the growing El Tiempo chain, the original Ninfa's on Navigation remains a special place with a unique vibe. Credit that to the staff, many of whom have been there for years.