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“Won't Go Back”

Ninfa's on Navigation
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Ranked #82 of 9,028 Restaurants in Houston
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$21 - US$30
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Groups, Child-friendly, Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, After-hours, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Delano
Reviewed August 10, 2017 via mobile

First, no happy hour - ever. A basic margarita is $9. If, by chance, you looked at their menu and prices on their website, it is very incorrect. Their current prices are almost twice the price as the ones on their website. I should've looked at TripAvisor first.

Second, there are plenty of excellent Mexican food restaurants all around the Houston area. My husband's tamales had very very very little meat in it. My chicken soup was good but mostly rice and our waitress was pleasant. Other than that I have nothing positive to say about them.

A very disappointing visit. Years ago, they were exceptional.

Thank Peggy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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99 - 103 of 677 reviews

Reviewed August 7, 2017 via mobile

Over a decade and a half ago, we used to frequent Ninfa's multiple times a month albeit different locations. Since then, we've moved from one side of town to the other and have noticed that a lot of locations have shut down. We've never been to the original Ninfa's (on Navigation) before and have always wanted to try it. This weekend was our chance. We were kid-free - which was a good thing since there is no kids menu. We noticed that this location is right across from the East End Farmer's Market on The Esplanade. How convenient that it's in an area of EaDo that is being "revived". You park in the back or valet and walk around to the front (facing The Esplanade). Walking in, I first noticed the sounds (of people enjoying their meal and company) and how full it looked inside. It can seem a bit cramped although there is actually lots of room. There is also patio seating outside which is blocked off from the walking path (from the parking lot) by privacy shrubs.
We were seated in a small corner table not far from the hostess stand. Chips and salsa were brought out immediately. Our waiter came and took our drink and appetizer order. I always loved Ninfa's green sauce with chips so that's what I went for first. Nope. Something is different. That green sauce is not the same as how I remembered it. It's not as sweet, not as creamy. Oh well. Our nachos with beef fajitas appetizer came out soon after. It was very tasty!! The chips were super crunchy and it's a good serving size. I was almost full just sharing the nachos.
Like another Yelper commented, sometimes it takes a while for the waiters/waitresses to remember you. It wasn't until after we had finished our appetizer and my husband was in need of a refill that our waiter appeared again to take our order. Yes, we hadn't even ordered our entrees yet! We opted for our familiar beef fajita plate because I've always loved their in-house tortillas. It seemed a bit more pricey than I remembered but when it came out, we noticed that they did not skimp on the amount. Biting into those fajitas was like stepping back in time. You can't get that same taste anywhere else. It's specifically Ninfa's. I asked for a small side of their chili con carne to dip my fajita in and our waiter obliged by giving me a small ramekin of it. It made my fajita that much better. The food was good as it always was all those years ago. The price however, has definitely gone up. Price-wise, I felt as if we had just been to a more upper class restaurant. Maybe it's the price of eating at "the original". I don't know.
The decor is nice in an old yet quaint Tex-Mex theme. Even the employees are dressed in Tex-Mex style attire. Their bathrooms are located in a small, narrow hallway just past the hostess stand. The stalls inside...oh my! I'm glad I'm short because I can't imagine a tall person being comfortable in here. The stall doors are almost right against the rim of the toilet seat. Maybe TMI, but as a short person, seated, my knees almost touched the stall door. I was glad I didn't have my son with me because no way is this suitable for a potty training toddler. Although they do have changing tables in the women's restroom. It's also a bit dark in here. I felt very claustrophobic in the restroom. The men's wasn't much better. In fact, my husband had gone before me and when I asked how the restrooms were, he told me it was small and narrow. Then he kind of smirked at me and said "you'll see" - which almost made me decide to hold it. I'm not docking points off for a claustrophobia-inducing restroom but I also can't see myself coming back because of it. And that concludes my trip to this much anticipated location.

Thank yellowrose1288
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 3, 2017 via mobile

When we have business near downtown, we always try to visit The Original Ninfa's on Navigation.

Lunch was great. The ceviche was fantastic. It was so big we could have shared it!

Thank Bengarber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 2, 2017 via mobile

Took the family there today and although we don't go but 2-3 tines a year, Ninfas never a fails in the consistency of food and service.
From the fresh salsa to the pickled carrots (always order, they are delish and free !
Portions are large which enables us to take home for the next day !

Thank Tryan234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 1, 2017

After many great Tex-Mex meals at this Houston institution, last Friday was a meal to forget. We took a friend who was visiting from out of town, planning to splurge on some great Tex Mex. I'm sad to say that the meal was a huge disappointment. We shared fajitas - mixed chicken and beef. Ordinarily, when they bring fajitas, they are sizzling on a cast iron skillet. These were not. I believe we received a portion that had been sitting around for quite a while - they were not hot and tasted tough. We did comment to the waiter and, to their credit, a manager came over and apologized to us. They did take the fajitas off our bill - this was nice, but not what we were after. We'd prefer Ninfa's get back to making sure their food is great.

1  Thank mrsleisure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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