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Small-town Tex-Mex diners are a breed apart. They are community-centered and, in turn, community-supported. Sylvia’s Mexican Restaurant in Stockdale is no exception. It wasn’t in Sylvia Quintanilla’s plans to own a restaurant. She left her job at a lumber company in Victoria to care for her ailing mother in her hometown of Stockdale, about 45 miles southeast of San Antonio. Neither Quintanilla nor her family members had restaurant experience. “My family were all builders, plumbers, electricians,” Quintanilla tells me during a phone conversation. When she moved back to Stockdale, she didn’t want a job that would keep her away from her mother for long stretches of time. Quintanilla noticed an old vacant restaurant, a former chicken shack, and knowing there wasn’t a spot in town for…
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