When you turn off of Highway 6 into downtown Hearne, parts of the small Texas town look pretty desolate.
But thanks to its 40 year old reputation, Mary's El Alamo Mexican Restaurant pulls in the people, near and far.
"Here we are 40 years and we're still here," said Mary Aguirre, owner of El Alamo.
Aguirre is a second generation Texan and she started the business back in 1972.
"It's been a while," joked Aguirre.
Despite turning 80 this year, Mary still comes to the restaurant every morning at 6 a.m. and her secret to success....
"Just cook like you do at home," said Aguirre.
"I think it's wonderful that Hearne that has been able to keep a restaurant in business for that length of time," said Hearne resident JoAnn Boggan.
Boggan has been coming to El Alamo since the beginning and she knows her Mexican food.
"Anytime we went on vacation anywhere we never liked the Mexican food anywhere else because it didn't live up to Mary's,' said Boggan.
"My enchiladas are good," said Aguirre.
Mark Roberson from Carthage has driven through the Crossroad of Texas a few times.
"Through Hearne," asked Roberson.
"About 1,017 times," he joked.
But when it comes to stopping at El Alamo?
"First time," he replied.
Despite the fact Drew Brees and his grandfather Ray Akins, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Mickey Gilley have frequented El Alamo, Mark is getting his first taste.
"It's what it's all about in Texas. That's why we stop here instead of a Pappasitos. We'd rather be here than a chain," said Roberson.
It's a lot of work but Mary keeps on cooking.
"It was fun at first but now I'm getting a little more tired. I've got a right to be tired, don't you think," joked Aguirre.
Yes, but she can't stop the community's love for her food and that keeps her going.
"I hope the good Lord don't stop me cause he's the only one that's going to stop me," laughed Aguirre.
If you want to check out El Alamo in Hearne you can go any day of the week except on Sunday. Mary shuts her doors on Sunday and says Sunday is a day to go to church.
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