Ninfa's is going fast casual with street-style grub inside Understory.

Image: cooper+RICCA

the Ninfa's brand is birthing a new concept, and its first location will be inside an anticipated downtown food hall.

Legacy Restaurants, which operates The Original Ninfa's on Navigation, announced on Tuesday the creation of Mama Ninfa's Tacos y Tortas, a fast-casual concept focusing on Mexican street-style tacos and tortas, plus traditional Tex-Mex dishes. It'll be part of Understory, the 35,000-square-foot community hub and market inside Shanska's Capitol Tower at 800 Capitol Street, when the skyscraper opens in 2019. Michael Hsu, who is designing Understory, is also putting his urban/industrial chic stamp on the first Mama Ninfa's location.

But that's not all: Legacy says Mama Ninfa's Tacos y Tortas will soon saturate the city, with three to four additional locations set to open over the next two years.

“It’s exciting and gratifying to bring this new concept to the Houston dining scene—and we’re very pleased to launch Mama Ninfa’s in such an excellent location, which combines steady foot traffic in the tunnels with unique street-level exposure,” said Legacy Restaurants CEO Jonathan Horowitz. “With the history surrounding The Original Ninfa’s brand and the public’s appreciation for the tradition and quality associated with The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation, we think Mama Ninfa’s Tacos y Tortas will find an enthusiastic audience in Houston and in the surrounding areas.”

Alex Padilla, executive chef at The Original Ninfa's on Navigation, is creating the menu for Mama Ninfa's. No doubt tacos al carbon, chile con queso, and a few other Ninfa's favorites will also be on the menu.

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