Steak and Eggs at Ninfa's on Navigation

Huevos al habañil.
Huevos al habañil.
Photos by Katharine Shilcutt

I woke up late on Sunday morning, fully enjoying the holiday weekend, with a growling hunger for Mexican breakfast. Growing up Texan means that sometimes "regular" breakfast won't cut it; there will occasionally arise a deep and abiding need in your stomach that only refried beans and tortillas can fill.

Late meant that some of my regular haunts had already moved to serving lunch. And I wasn't in the mood to drive far. Ninfa's on Navigation suddenly sprang to mind: Hadn't it recently started serving brunch? Indeed, on Sundays, Ninfa's offers brunch from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for those of us who like to get a late start on the weekends.

It's even smarter in conjunction with the free shuttle service it offers to Minute Maid Park on Astros game days: get brunch, head to the game, come back afterward for dinner and margaritas. That's a thoroughly brilliant (albeit pricey) plan for some future lazy Sunday afternoon.

Fifteen minutes after heading out from the house, and my boyfriend and I were tucked into the broad new patio under some triumphantly red umbrellas, with plates of refried beans, tortillas and more. He'd ordered the "steak and eggs," which is called desayuno mexicano on the menu. And while my huevos al habañil ($9.75) were quite good, it was his steak and eggs that wowed me Sunday morning.

The same wonderfully tender skirt steak that Ninfa's famously uses for its fajitas it is, at $13.95, the most expensive item on the brunch menu, but worth it. The steak is soft and buttery, slicing apart with only the barest pull of the knife. It came with an unexpected spoonful of a smoky-sweet red sauce that tasted like roasted tomatoes and cumin. Folded into a hot flour tortilla, I didn't need anything else at all to top the meat. It was perfect just as it was.

And although the rest of his plate was good -- scrambled eggs with potatoes and a tomatillo sauce -- I found myself preferring the eggs (if not the chicharrones) that came with my breakfast. They had been baked into a small terrine with fresh, roughly diced tomatoes, onions and poblano peppers. Breaking the yolk into the stewed tomato mixture made it into a bright orange sauce that was both fatty and sweet and irresistible.

Perhaps on my next visit, I can talk them into making me a steak and eggs plate that's a combination of the two...

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