LAFAYETTE, Ind. Step into Nom Nom Tacos and Tequila in downtown Lafayette, and you might think you’ve been transported to San Francisco.
One of the newer restaurants in downtown Lafayette, Nom Nom Tacos and Tequila is located at 102 N 3rd St. and offers an atmosphere almost like a club, with hits from Latin artists like Bad Bunny and Rauw Alejandro playing in the background.
Music often leads to customers dancing in their seats.
Another unique factor in the restaurant is the margarita, made with tequila that has been infused with a variety of flavors such as serrano pepper or strawberry.
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The spicy pineapple margarita uses tequila infused with serrano. Although very sweet, the spice from the pepper remains on the lips, leaving a slight burning sensation.
This was the experience Hector Ordaz, the owner of Nom Nom Tacos and Tequila, wanted to bring to Lafayette.
Despite growing up in Indianapolis, Ordaz has developed a great fondness for Lafayettes over the years.
On top of being a restaurateur, Ordaz is also a DJ and used to travel frequently to Lafayette to host Latin nights at Rat Pak Venue.
“I came here for a Latin night like three or four years ago, and I’ve been coming here for the past two years. I see there’s a large Latino community,” Ordaz said.
“So I had this project in my head three or four years ago. I was looking for the right space and needed to make the right concept, with the right drinks and food and the right premises. So, when I found this, I was definitely a YES!”
Before Nom Nom opened, Ordaz owned two Indianapolis businesses, a nightclub and mariscos (Mexican seafood) restaurant.
Every time Ordaz visits Lafayette for a show, people ask him if he would open a Latin nightclub in Lafayette. Although Ordaz toyed with the idea once or twice, he eventually realized that he would rather open a restaurant than a nightclub.
“My first job was a nightclub, so I learned a lot of things about nightclubs, and I loved it, but I don’t want to be a nightclub owner. It’s hard to deal with alcohol all the time, drunk people, and the safety of my clients was really important to me, And I don’t feel like a nightclub is what I want. The ambiance of the restaurant is what I wanted more. It’s more relaxed, and that’s why I want to really focus on this concept and the restaurant business,” Ordaz said.
To stand out from the other downtown Lafayette restaurants and other Mexican restaurants in town, Ordaz decided he wanted to open a modern Mexican food restaurant.
Similar to authentic Mexican cuisine, which attempts to highlight the freshest ingredients from Mexico, modern Mexican cuisine takes those traditions and adds a twist. Typically, it will include elements from other cuisines and cultures to help elevate the flavors of Mexican dishes.
Although plenty of Mexican food items are offered such as tacos, burritos, soups, Mexican corn and more, the modern Mexican influence can be seen in the ingredient list in many of these items.
Examples: the burrito served with a side of sweet fries, the relishes served with beet sour cream or the breakfast croissant sandwich at weekend brunch.
Prices at Nom Nom Tacos and Tequila can be more than the average food truck, which Ordaz says “the price reflects the quality.” Ordaz tries to buy the freshest ingredients and makes many items at home, such as tequila and tacos.
Although it originally opened in late February, Nom Nom Tacos and Tequila are consistently crowded most evenings and especially Friday nights.
For those interested in visiting Nom Nom Tacos and Tequila, they are open Monday through Thursday from 11am to 9pm; Friday from 11 am to 11 pm; Saturdays 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays Nom Nom, Tacos and Tequila serves brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Noe Padilla is a reporter at Journal & Courier. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at 1NoePadilla.