Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ninfa's on Navigation

So some of you may know that the sleazy Mexican food chain Ninfa's was actually started in Houston, Texas, and the original location is located at 2704 Navigation. According to their website, they aren't actually affiliated with these other Ninfa's, but in my five minutes of internet research I couldn't find any sordid backstory so I'm just going to continue on believing they're all the same and encourage you to do the same.

Here's the thing. So I used to live in Waco, maybe some of you knew that, and already I know what everybody in Houston is thinking. First of all, Waco is really not that small of a town. Houston is the fourth largest city in America, it is abnormal in its size. Waco has a population of 120,000. For you to call Waco a small town is to admit that you've never actually been to a small town! You have no conception of the style of living that so many Americans experience! A small town is a town in which their only stop light flashes yellow. A small town is a town in which you are related to 95% of your neighbors. Maybe some of you guys should go visit Waco, labelled by USA Today in one very rude newspaper as "Texas's largest bathroom break" before you judge! (Did you hear that? LARGEST bathroom break!) We have at least three Walmarts guys! We have a minority Asian population! -34 for your big city bias! Secondly! I am sick and tired of people suggesting that the only two things to come from Waco are the Branch Davidians and Baylor! Guys! You all owe so much to Waco! Did you know that Dr. Pepper was invented here? Did you know that Steve Martin was born here? Did you know that every Starburst distributed in North America is produced here? Did you know that at the time it was built, the Alico building, the tallest building in Waco, was the tallest building this side of the Mississippi? Did you know that our Hilton was the first Hilton to have air conditioning? Did you know that I lived there for TEN YEARS? So much you owe to Waco, and you treat it like THIS? -98

Where was I going with this? That's right. So anyway. There's a Ninfa's in Waco, and it's in downtown Waco, and the thing is guys, it's kind of a nice Mexican restaurant. I know what you're thinking. There's never going to be a "nice" Mexican restaurant. It's true. But Waco's Ninfa's is the equivalent of Houston's Pappasito's. Honestly guys OK Waco isn't even that big our Ninfa's is the equivalent of Houston's Brenner's. It's not the only nice restaurant in town but it's pretty up there. So you can only imagine how shocked I am by the Original Ninfa's on Navigation! Guys its just a Mexican food restaurant! It's just some nasty hole in the wall in the middle of Second Ward! OK but this is the thing, the Ninfa's in Waco really isn't that good, it's just fancy on the inside and two stories and has exposed brick. But gross looking Mexican food restaurants? They always have the best food! I was so excited!! +23

K guys so here's the thing I went to the Original Ninfa's last Friday and it was pretty early in the afternoon, really around brunch time, we didn't even make it to lunch yet. And the whole place is packed! Let me tell you something about people in Waco: we actually have a work ethic! None of this "oh I'm just going to work a half day on Friday and then tell my boss I have a meeting with a prospective client and then go to Ninfa's for the rest of the afternoon"! Guys it was so packed! -12 Oh my GOSH what do business people in this city DO? All I know is that the restaurant was packed and then later the highways were packed and it was two o'clock in the afternoon, does nobody believe in work ethic and doing your job and stuff like this? All I know is that I'VE been moving all day and I'M still typing this review for you guys because it's Thursday and I owe it to you my loyal fans! All I'm saying is that if people would spend a little more time in their offices and less time in Houston area restaurants I wouldn't have to wait so late to get a table. Is all I'm saying.

But here's what I will say about Ninfa's on Navigation. I was waiting all day long for this table in this restaurant, and if you guys didn't know this about me I get real grumpy when I don't eat. So when my poor patient boyfriend ("Catherine, it'll just be another minute. I think I see some people leaving. No, Catherine, you don't have to cry, I'm sure we'll get a table in a minute... no, please don't cry...")(I'm just kidding guys I don't really cry when I can't get a table that's too reasonable of a reason) and I finally got a table, I fell into that chip basket. I attacked it like a starving lion attacks a herd of zebras. I demolished that basket of chips, AND I made them bring me another one, AND I made them bring me another cups of salsa. Guys, their salsa is so good! The only thing is that it was cold. So this is the biggest rift in mine and Thomas's relationship. We fight about this all the time. Huge, relationship ending fights. "I don't know, I just like it's better when it's cold I guess." "Shut up Thomas! You don't know anything about me! You're not the boss of me! You can't tell me how to live my life!" It's just very sad to watch. The salsa at Ninfa's was cold, but the thing is guys, it was so tasty and delicious and they made me wait so long for it that I might even be a convert. All I know is that I loved that salsa and it was cold and maybe I've changed my ways for forever. +14

That's it. If you're the Waco Visitor's Bureau and are looking for a new employee, feel free to email me at, I'll give you whatever facts about our beloved city you need. All you other yahoos can do whatever you want I don't care about your prejudices you can't hurt me.

The Original Ninfa's on Navigation on Urbanspoon


  1. Ninfa's name and was bought out of bankruptcy. The licensees (I believe Serrano's) didn't pay franchise fees, so ownership of the catering division and the Original on Navigation were transferred back as compensation. They have their own Chef Alex Padilla; he is fantastic.

    Once there were plans to knock the whole thing down and start again 'NEW', but luckily cooler heads prevailed.

    1. Oh wow Gary, thanks, that's really interesting! I definitely was curious as to why "" belonged to the Original if they weren't affiliated with the others!