Ninfa's is known for the tortillas. These are light and airy tortillas - no preservatives. As you walk in the restaurant, you can see directly into the kitchen and you'll notice the trays and trays of round, baseball size piles of dough. There is a window for restaurant patrons to watch as a person stands almost continuously grabbing the balls of dough, running them through a machine to flatten and then quickly cooking the flatten dough on a griddle. Another person manages the piles of freshly cooked tortillas and packages them by the dozen into bags.
Each time I've eaten here, more people come into the restaurant to purchase bags of tortillas - usually 2-3 dozen at a time - than there are people eating at the restaurant.
Back to the food...no typical chips and salsa at this restaurant. After getting the drink order, the server brings out a container full of tortillas. There is a container with melted butter and another squeeze container on the table full of salsa. Paper napkins are also on the table, so grab a napkin, a tortilla and fill it with either butter or salsa. Roll up and eat!
Lunch is served quickly. I always order just one chicken or beef buritto off the "a la carte". The buritto is made from one of their fresh tortillas, wrapped in foil and heated and is full of meat, whole beans and tons of melted cheese. No lettuce, tomatoes or other vegetables. The buritto is served on a styrofoam plate with a plastic fork. The chunks of meat are bitesize, so there is not the need for an accompanying plastic knife!
Ninfa's does have full dinners that come with rice and beans, but that is way too much food, especially for lunch.
In addition to loving the tortillas here, I am impressed with the spices. They have mastered the mixture of the correct amount of spices in their salsa and meat to give an excellent Mexican taste and enjoyment. It's not overly hot and overbearing but just the right amount.
September 30, 2001
From journal Mexican Food in Kansas City