Tortilla Tournament

Food News: Original Ninfa's Takes Top Prize at Tacos Over Texas

Plus, a new chef de cuisine at a popular Heights spot.

By Timothy Malcolm May 23, 2019


The winners of the 2019 Tacos Over Texas competition.

Let's catch up with some mid-week news and notes from the city's food scene:

Last weekend, The Original Ninfa's on Navigation and El Tiempo Cantina hosted one of the city's coolest food competitions. The second Tacos Over Texas, held Sunday at Ninfa's on Navigation (it was originally scheduled for April 7 but postponed because of rain), raised more than $150,000 for the Ninfa Laurenzo Scholarship Fund, which helps students of need who seek to positively change their communities.

And in case you were ever wondering who would win a taco-off between these two beloved eateries, first place at Tacos Over Texas went to one of the hosts, as Ninfa's' Alex Padilla cooked up a lamb barbacoa taco with lamb broth shooter. Other finalists included Killen's TMX (second place) and Laurenzo's (third place), while Michael and David Cordúa Events took the people's choice award, and Tony Mandola's Gulf Coast Kitchen won most creative.

Meanwhile, Revival Market has a new chef de cuisine. Steve Lamborn, who spent the last seven years working as executive sous chef at The Pass and Provisions, has joined Agricole Hospitality to run the kitchen at its butcher shop and cafe in The Heights. Lamborn, who is originally from Delaware and worked for a decade in the Philadelphia area before coming to Houston, hopes to add more seafood to the menu and potentially launch a small bread program. 

Jonesing for some evening barbecue? Head to Fluff Bake Bar tonight for a Truth BBQ takeover of Rebecca Masson's popular bakery. The menu curated by Truth owner Leonard Botello IV includes Oaxacan cheese sausage, BBQ gumbo, beef cheek tacos, and birthday cake ice cream cake, among other items. The full experience is $51.75 with slots available from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Order your ticket here.

For those who know they'll still be hankering for barbecue, while also longing for Tex-Mex and a variety of beers come July, there's some particularly good news. The Houston Barbecue Festival and Saint Arnold Brewing Company are uniting to host the inaugural Tex-Mex BBQ Block Party, scheduled for July 14 at the brewery's Beer Hall and adjacent parking lot. The event aims to celebrate up-and-coming pitmasters fusing Tex-Mex and Tejano cuisine with Central Texas barbecue. Participants include Willow's Texas BBQ, Eddie O's Texas Barbecue, JQ's Tex-Mex BBQ, and others. Tickets are $60, and come with unlimited samples of BBQ and Saint Arnold beer, and can be purchased here.

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