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El Tiempo Cantina

2814 Navigation Blvd. Houston, TX 77003 | East End | 713-222-6800

Location Description:

Following in the footsteps of his famous grandmother Ninfa, who created a Tex-Mex empire, Domenic Laurenzo and his father, Rolando, opened the first El Tiempo, a similar Tex-Mex chain, in 1998. Since then, it has expanded to five locations across Houston, but this newest one, built next door to the original Ninfa's on Navigation, appears to still be experiencing some growing pains. Several of the dishes, such as the queso flameado and seafood quesadillas, are worth a visit, but El Tiempo's famous fajitas and margaritas leave much to be desired at this location. The decor is spot-on, but no amount of giant wooden bulls and intricate wrought iron can make up for chewy beef or margaritas made with sour mix.

Related Stories (6)


  • Cuisine(s): Mexican, Tex-Mex
  • Hours: Sun 9am-9pm, Mon-Tue 11am-9pm, Wed-Thu 11am-10pm, Fri 11am-11pm, Sat 9am-11pm
  • Price: $$, $$$
  • Serving: Dinner, Lunch
  • Alcohol: Full bar
  • Reservations: Accepted
  • Parking: Lot Available, Valet
  • Payment Types: All Major Credit Cards, cash
  • Attire: Casual
  • Features: Patio/Sidewalk Dining

Related Stories

  • Eating Our Words: On the Menu
    The numerous entree options available at El Tiempo can faze even the most focused diner: "I'm getting fajitas. Definitely fajitas. Wait. Oh look, there's..." Thirty minutes later,...
  • Eating Our Words: On the Menu
    It feels like just yesterday we were rounding up the places to eat on Easter. Now, it's time to help you decide where to take Mom out on her special day. A multitude of Houston restaurants...
  • Dining: Reviewed
    It takes major cojones to build a new Tex-Mex restaurant a stone's throw from quirky Irma's downtown and right next door to the original Ninfa's, on Navigation. It takes even bigger...
  • Eating Our Words: On the Menu
    I was raised on Tex-Mex food in Corpus Christi and San Antonio. Breakfast tacos were the only way to get the day really going, and a huge bowl of chips and salsa seemed a perfectly...
  • Eating Our Words: Booze
    Five years ago when I first started reading about food in Houston, two menu items kept coming up again and again in online reviews, chat forums, etc. The first item was the fajitas at the...
  • Eating Our Words: Booze
    For whatever reason, some marketing genius decided that February 22 is National Margarita Day. I can't figure out what significance this day has to margaritas or tequila or Triple Sec or...