Ninfa's


Ninfa's
Original Ninfa's on Navigation Boulevard

The Original Ninfa's on Navigation is a popular Mexican restaurant located at 2704 Navigation Boulevard in Houston, Texas.The restaurant serves both Tex-Mex and Mexican cuisine. The Original Ninfa's was started by Ninfa Rodríguez Laurenzo, a Mexican-American woman. She and her Italian-American husband, Tommy Laurenzo, opened Rio Grande Tortilla Factory, a tortilla and pizza dough factory in Houston's East End in 1948. By 1973, after her husband's death, Laurenzo suffered financial problems, so she opened a restaurant with borrowed money.

The restaurant became immensely successful to the point where the tortilla factory closed down, and Ninfa Laurenzo became a full-time restaurateur. "Mama Ninfa" went on to become a nationally known figure and an immensely popular and respected civic leader in Houston. Mama Ninfa is widely credited with popularizing the fajita among Americans. Ninfa Laurenzo died on June 17, 2001. Her funeral was attended by thousands of people including Houston's business and political elite.

After their tremendous early success, the family expanded rapidly, opening and licensing a number of "Ninfa's Mexican Restaurants" in Houston and elsewhere. In 1998, the chain was purchased by Serrano's Cafe and Cantina.

The Original Ninfa's on Navigation has been owned and operated by Legacy Restaurants since mid-2006. The Executive Chef is Alex Padilla whose mother worked for Mama Ninfa when he was growing up in Houston. The original structure, including the former Rio Grande Tortilla Factory, is truly one of a kind. Legacy has made a number of improvements including a lighted parking lot and covered outdoor seating and the restaurant is more popular than ever.

There are still "Ninfa's Mexican Restaurants" in Houston and elsewhere operated by independent owners who previously received licenses to use the name from the Laurenzo family. None of these are affiliated with the Original Ninfa's on Navigation.

References

External links


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