Some (but not all) research suggests that one can form new habits in the course of just 21 days.
If true, there’s hope for me and the many others who find themselves eating the same thing every damn time they visit The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation: the fajitas.
Yes, their fajitas are stellar and an order of a half-pound (or more) is a guaranteed good meal. Even Lester Holt knows this now; the NBC Nightly News anchor just filmed a video at Ninfa's. But Ninfa’s talented head chef Alex Padilla is so far from a one-trick pony. In addition to designing a menu laden with other well-executed classic Tex-Mex dishes, Padilla also regularly demonstrates his versatility through his rotating seasonal specials.
Recently, I broke my Ninfa’s fajita streak to try two of these specials, the elote borracho y loco and the torta de puerco. In Mexico, grilled corn on the cob dressed with spices and sauce is a popular street food commonly consumed while strolling and shopping. Padilla’s sit-down version elevates the pedestrian classic by adorning the plump, sunny kernels with diverse but complementary dressings, namely, a heated chili de arbol aioli, piquant lime juice, and cotija cheese. Finally, a drizzle of mezcal literally fueled the elote’s dramatic presentation, served to the table on a flaming plate.
It was a tough act to follow, but my main course of a pork torta proved comparable with a complex flavor profile. The mound of tender roasted porcine meat was given a generous slather of garlicky mayonnaise. A top layer of refreshing slaw tempered the greasiness. And the dense, yeasty bread was so delectable on its own to the point of being distracting. Next time (see following paragraph) I order the torta, I may request “double bread.”
The current seasonal specials (ignore the “summer” label on the menu) will be available for at least another five weeks. That’s more than 21 days, people, which means you have plenty of opportunities to Just Say No to fajitas and form a delicious new habit at Ninfa’s.