Houston: How are the other Ninfa's?
I drove by a Ninfa's on Memorial west of Beltway 8. Is it related to the Ninfa's on Navigation? Is it (or others like it) as good? The sign at this particular Ninfa's emphasized tacos. I see that originalninfas.com, oddly, calls them "licensees" and not "franchisees".
In my opinion, most of the non-Navigation Ninfa's are mediocre to outright terrible. I haven't been to the one you mention for several years, but it was not very good at all the last time I ate there. My understanding is that the Navigation location is still owned by the Laurenzo family, but the rest are not. For chain tex-mex on the west side, I like Los Cucos, Las Rosas.
Don't bother. In fact, the one on Navigation isn't what it used to be, either.
If you ever get out to Sugar Land, try Lupita's (formerly Pico de Gallo). My understanding is that the lady in the kitchen used to cook at Ninfa's, back in the good old days, and it shows.
The Laurenzos own the two El Tiempos. They are no longer associated with any of the Ninfa's. The mother of the executive chef at the original on Navigation used to be a cook at that restaurant when Ninfa owned it, so there is some history there. The other Ninfa's are operated by licensees who use the Ninfa's name. The original Ninfa's on Navigation is far better than the other Ninfa's, and El Tiempo is, in my opinion, better than the original Ninfa's.
IMO, the original Ninfa's on navigation is still relevent. They make a mean soft shell crab during the peak season and the fajitas are still true outside skirt steak.
I do agree with everyone else that the other Ninfa's are completely horrible.