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About Us

Mama Ninfa Laurenzo

As a young girl, Ninfa created delicious and unique Mexican food. She blended traditional Mexican family recipes with Italian traditions from her husband’s side. A year after getting married, Ninfa and Thomas Laurenzo moved to Texas to plant roots. They started a manufacturing company, Rio Grande Food Products. While this provided them with a modest income, their dream was to open a restaurant.


In 1969, Thomas Laurenzo passed away, leaving behind a widowed mother of five children. Ninfa struggled against shrinking profits to keep the company going. As a family, they decided to close shop. This brought to life the dream of a Mexican restaurant. Ninfa introduced fajitas, as we know them and love them, in her restaurants in 1973. She became known to Houstonians as Mama Ninfa. Within ten years, Mama Ninfa’s Tex Mex restaurant expanded into a multi-million dollar business before going bankrupt in the late 1990s.


El Tiempo Cantina

The Laurenzo family did not lose heart. One of Ninfa’s sons – Roland Laurenzo – embraced the opportunity to do it all over again. In 1998, he opened the first El Tiempo Cantina on Richmond avenue along with his oldest son Domenic Laurenzo.  Today, the family continues to honor Mama Ninfa’s traditions in the restaurants.

El Tiempo Cantina serves quality Tex Mex cuisine and the best margaritas in Houston! We welcome each of our guests as part of the family, providing the same impeccable customer service Mama Ninfa instilled years ago.