The Original Ninfa’s Goes West!
By Megha Tejpal, Photos by Steve Visneau
It’s been nearly a half-century since the Original Ninfa’s on Navigation debuted, flipping tortillas and propelling fajitas into Houstonians’ everyday diets. And on Monday, June 10, the concept is opening its doors in Uptown’s BLVD Place development, in the former home of Peska.
“It is taking what is at the original and implementing it in a new, lively locale, which will be a challenge in and of itself,” says Jason Gould, 45, the executive chef of the Uptown location who will be working alongside culinary director Alex Padilla, who remains at the helm of the EaDo kitchen.
The space was outfitted by Austin’s Michael Hsu and Houston-based Studio Red Architects to recall the original location, with touches like black-and-white photos of Mama Ninfa on walls and a tortilla-making station near the front of the restaurant. Expect the same delicious menus at both spots — and new cocktails soon, by Beverage Consultant Linda Salinas.
Gould, who cut his teeth at Houston’s acclaimed (now shuttered) Gravitas and who has cooked in kitchens from London to Vancouver, was most recently the corporate chef at Cyclone Anaya’s. Originally from Melbourne, he’s warmed up quite nicely to cooking Houston’s signature cuisine. “I’m an Aussie in Houston, cooking Tex Mex,” he laughs. “It’s strange!”