LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Walk into Nom Nom Tacos and Tequila in downtown Lafayette, and you might think you’ve been transported to San Francisco.
One of downtown Lafayette’s newest restaurants, Nom Nom Tacos and Tequila, at 102 N 3rd St., offers an atmosphere with an almost club vibe, featuring hits from Latin artists like Bad Bunny and Rauw Alejandro playing in the background.
The music often has customers dancing in their seats.
Another unique feature of the restaurant is the margaritas, made with tequila that has been infused with a variety of flavors such as serrano peppers or strawberries.
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The Spicy Pineapple margarita uses serrano-infused tequila. Although very mild, the spiciness of the peppers lingers on the lips, leaving a subtle burning sensation.
That was the experience that Hector Ordaz, the owner of Nom Nom Tacos and Tequila, wanted to bring to Lafayette.
Although raised in Indianapolis, Ordaz developed a strong fondness for Lafayette over the years.
Besides owning a restaurant, Ordaz is also a DJ, and he frequently traveled to Lafayette to host Latin nights at the Rat Pak Venue.
“I came here for a Latin night three or four years ago, and I’ve been coming for two years. And I see there’s a big Latin community,” Ordaz said.
“So I had this project in my head three or four years ago. I was looking for the right space and I needed to do the right concept, with the right drinks, the right food and the right building. So , when I found this one, I was like definitely yes!
Prior to opening Nom Nom, Ordaz owned two businesses in Indianapolis, a nightclub and a successful mariscos (Mexican seafood) restaurant.
Whenever Ordaz visited Lafayette for a show, people asked him if he would open a Latin nightclub in Lafayette. And although Ordaz toyed with the idea once or twice, ultimately he knew he’d rather open a restaurant than a nightclub.
“My first business was a nightclub, so I learned a lot about nightclubs, and I was like, I like it, but I don’t want to be the owner of the nightclub. C It’s hard to deal with alcohol all the time, drunk people, the safety of my customers was really important to me, and I don’t feel like the nightclub is what I want. restaurant is more what I wanted. It’s more relaxed, which is why I really want to focus on this concept and the restaurant business,” Ordaz said.
To stand out from other restaurants in downtown Lafayette and other Mexican restaurants in town, Ordaz decided to open a modern Mexican cuisine restaurant.
Similar to authentic Mexican cuisine, which tries to showcase the fresh ingredients of Mexico, modern Mexican cuisine takes those traditions and adds a twist. Normally it will incorporate elements from other cuisines and cultures to help enhance the flavors of Mexican dishes.
Although offering many Mexican staples such as tacos, burritos, sopes, Mexican street corn and more, the modern Mexican influence can be seen in the ingredient list of many of these items.
Examples: a burrito served with sweet potato fries, sopes served with beetroot sour cream, or a breakfast croissant sandwich served at weekend brunch.
Prices at Nom Nom Tacos and Tequila can be higher than the average food truck, to which Ordaz says “price reflects quality.” Ordaz tries to source fresh ingredients and makes many items on site, like their tequila and tacos.
Although originally open in late February, Nom Nom Tacos and Tequila are constantly packed most nights and especially Friday nights.
For those wishing to visit Nom Nom Tacos and Tequila, they are open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fridays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Nom Nom Tacos and Tequila offers brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Noe Padilla is a journalist at Journal & Courier. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at 1NoePadilla.