TYLER --- If you think you've got to go to Austin or San Antonio to get the best tacos in Texas, you're just flat out wrong.
At least, that's what most people in Tyler think. The Hispanic Business Alliance say we think so highly of our Mexican food we just can't get enough.
You can't throw a tortilla without hitting the next mexican food restaurant on Tyler roads.
While the hispanic population is growing in east texas, it's not nearly as high as other parts of the state. In fact, the numbers show Tyler has almost double the amount of mexican food restaurants than the average per capita in Texas.
One popular example, right in the heart of historic downtown, Don Juan's On The Square.
"I see people come in three times a day," says Argel Barron. Her family has been feeding east texas for three generations.
"Started selling tacos in the soccer fields," she says as she works the register at their second restaurant.
Barron sees regulars like the Parkers, who say the dishes here are nothing but lone star flavor.
"It's just texas taste; Tex-Mex," says Danny Parker.
Linda and Danny Parker come here about three times a week and split a dish.
"It's good. Really is good," Linda Parker says.
The "house wine of the south" adds more of the Texas kick to Tyler's mexican food restaurants,"one of the main reasons we come here is the iced tea."
Just two tacos is enough to fill me up but in just a matter of hours, during lunch; they can sell up to 300 of them.
Just a few blocks down the street, Ramiro martinez is opening a bigger version of the Martinez Tortilleria.
What started out as a small tortilla maker, selling about 30 pounds of the flour and corn staple, is now a full-service restaurant and selling up to 500 pounds of tortillas in just one day.
Martinez says his growing customer base is of every race and ethnicity in east texas.
Aside from the fresh tortillas, sunday mornings get packed with people wanting this warm stew called menudo.
"From Henderson, Longview, Jackson, all over," Martinez says people drive in to try the hominy and tripe soup. Everyone finding out from word of mouth.
He says there's no secret behind the kitchen doors, but knows having the right price could be what keeps people sitting down at their table and other mexican restaurants across east texas.
There's no sign of this business dying down in fact another Don Juan's restaurant is opening up and they all say even through the recession the orders never slowed down.