First Annual Tacos Over Texas is this Weekend Honoring Legendary Ninfa Laurenzo

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Exciting news! “Tacos Over Texas”, The Ninfa Laurenzo Scholarship Fund’s first fundraising event in collaboration with El Tiempo Cantina will be happening this upcoming Sunday at Ninfa’s on Navigation

For many of us that are long-time Houstonians, there was one name that was synonymous with great Mexican food since her introduction of the famous “Tacos Al Carbon” and infamous “green sauce” in 1973.  She was the powerhouse we all knew as “Mama Ninfa” Laurenzo and was actually a true icon and inspiration for the Mexican population in our city as a whole. There was no one warmer, more loving and caring for others than she and still today, I recall with her daughter Phyllis Mandola, my memories of a “Ninfa hug”, nothing quite like it!  It is so thrilling for me and so many Houstonians to participate this weekend in the first annual “Tacos Over Texas” being held Sunday, April 8, at the Original Ninfa’s on Navigation, benefiting The Ninfa Laurenzo Scholarship Fund. The event is being chaired by President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush, as Honorary Chairs and longtime Ninfa fans and friends. (who can ever forget her amazing presence on the stage of the Republican National Convention for the former President?!)  Chairing the event will be Ninfa’s daughter Phyllis Mandola and hubby, Tony Mandola, owners of Tony Mandola’s Restaurant along with Legacy Restaurants CEO, Jonathan Horwitz and wife Quinn Hoang.  “We are thrilled for The Original Ninfa’s to co-host this event with El Tiempo,” Horowitz said.  “There is such rich history with the restaurant, the Laurenzo family, and the memory of Mama Ninfa — this is the perfect way to honor her contributions to the community and to continue her legacy.”


What better way to spend a Sunday than with a taco in each hand, drinks, live music, and all for a good cause at the place where it all started, The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation where many of us would patiently wait on the esplanade, sampling Tacos Al Carbon and being fed Ninfa’s chips and green sauce until a table opened up in the then very small restaurant that was open as part of the tortilla factory that the Laurenzo family owned.

Executive Chef Alex Padilla IMG_5694

Top Houston Chefs will be competing, including Domenic Laurenzo (El Tiempo Cantina), Alex Padilla (The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation), Johnny Carrabba (Carrabba’s), Juan Arellano (Tony Mandela’s), Robert Del Grande ( Cafe Annie), Michael and David Cordua (Cordua restaurants) Kiran Verma (Kiran’s) Greg GAtline and Michelle Wallace (Gatlin’s BBQ) and many more! Tacos Over Texas guests will enjoy a specialty taco from each chef, along with beer, margaritas and live music.

Celebrity judges will include Gino Laurenzo, The Honorable Judge Ed Emmett, Neal Hamil, Gerg Morago (Houston Chronicle), Eric Sandler (Culture Map), James Brock (Paper City), Shanna Jones and Felice Sloan (Urban Swank), Robin Barr Sussman (Houston Modern Luxury) Ken Hoffman (Culture Map), and more!!!


(Pictured above: Mama Ninfa Laurenzo)

Proceeds from Tacos Over Texas benefits the Ninfa Laurenzo Scholarship Fund. This scholarship was created to raise funds for students dedicated “to empowering lifelong learning, advancing knowledge, and strengthening the lives of Houston residents. Donations will directly help scholarship programs in Houston schools and universities.”

Event Details….

This event will take place at the Original Ninfa’s on Navigation, (2704 Navigation Blvd.) from 12-4 pm. General Admission are $40 and VIP are $200, which includes early access from 12-1pm for VIP admission only.  You can click here for more information.

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(Photo Courtesy of Original Ninfa’s on Navigation)

About Roz Pactor

I am a fashion and marketing consultant and blogger based in Houston, Texas. With more than three decades of experience in fashion retailing that has spanned Foley’s, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s NYC, I have earned a reputation for delivering expertise, energy and enthusiasm to my roster of clients. I have remained closely connected with designer women’s fashion as well as the misses, teens, men’s and children’s apparel and accessories markets from coast to coast.

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