There’s a certain irony with the fact that the new El Tiempo is located on Navigation, across the street from The Original Ninfa’s. For those of you don’t don’t keep with with these things, El Tiempo is part of the Laurenzo family of restaurants, which was started by Mama Ninfa at, you guessed it, The Original Ninfa’s. The how and why this restaurant is no longer part of the Laurenzo family of restaurants is a longer story for another day, or never. But this tale, and the promise of good food, got me to El Tiempo on Navigation for lunch recently.
While Executive Chef Domenic Laurenzo and father Roland Laurenzo where working on their newest restaurant in Northwest Houston, they secretly worked on building an El Tiempo Cantina in a very special location. The location is where Roland’s mother, Ninfa Laurenzo, opened her original restaurant years ago, giving the location a very special meaning to the family.
The menu itself is anchored by the family’s original Tex-Mex fajitas along with a few twists that Domenic created intertwining his Latino and Italian roots. You will find all of your Mexican favorites such Fajitas, Enchiladas, Tacos, Queso and so much more.
I’m a big fan of El Tiempo on Washington, with its over-the-top decor and classic Tex-Mex menu. I haven’t been to any of the other locations, but I’ve heard that the menu is consistently good. I was glad to see that the Navigation location keeps a similar look and delivers the same high-quality of food. In an improvement, the Navigation location has plenty of parking and extra across the street.
For this lunch visit I ordered the Lunch Pork Tamales and wasn’t disappointed. The dish is choice of two or three spicy pork tamales covered in either red or green chili con carne. I chose three tamales and opted for the green chili con carne. Next time I’m going to choose two; three was too much. My friends ordered the enchiladas and the some of the other combo lunches, and they were all very pleased with their food.
If you’re a fan of Tex-Mex food, you really need to try El Tiempo. If you’re a regular at The Original Ninfa’s, I’m going to recommend you try the El Tiempo across the street for several reasons: better seating, more choices on the menu, and high-quality food.
El Tiempo is located at 2814 Navigation Blvd., Houston, Texas 77003, 713-222-6800.
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