COBDEN (WSIL) -- It's been called some of the most authentic Mexican food you can find in our region, and Tuesday marks 15 years that the Little House of Tacos has been in business.
Little House of Tacos in Cobden has more than just tacos: the restaurant also offers burritos, tostadas, tortas, and chile rellenos as options.
Manager Esteban Bartolo says his mother, Maria, used to work at a factory in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. She and his father, Fidel, opened the taco stand to be closer to his grandmother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's at that time.
Now, up to 300 people each day stop by for some of the delicious food and customers can expect a lunch-time rush with a line.
Bartolo says the extra hard work that his family puts in sets their taco stand apart from chain restaurants.
"Honestly the best way to say it is we make our food with love," he explains. "We try to express that to everyone and to show people that we're doing the best we can with our food. Whereas sometimes with different chain restaurants it feels just over produced."
Bartolo says the stand has become a local favorite and anytime they close there's an outcry from residents, who are concerned that they've shut their doors for good.
"The community loves us so much that when we're closed, they'll actually almost be disappointed and wonder what happened," Bartolo explains.
Not to worry, the family plans on keeping the stand open for years to come and keeping things as close to the same as possible, which means no plans on expanding.
Bartolo says that's because his mom's cooking and 50 years of experience can't be replicated easily by other chefs so that makes it hard to open additional locations.
He adds that he plans on taking over the taco stand when his parents retire.