Just 8,500 residents call Bastrop, Texas home. Though it's a mere 40-minute drive to Austin, it feels like a world away. But, this small town comes with plenty of big surprises, including possibly the best breakfast place in all of Texas — Maxine's.

Hiding in plain sight on Main Street, Maxine's is like a throwback to a different era. Outside, its storefront features a bright blue 1950s-style logo that simply reads "Maxine's Cafe" with a coffee cup emblazoned on the front. Inside, it looks just like a diner in your dreams.

The brick walls are heavily ladened with throwback paraphernalia including street signs, paintings, bullhorns, and Wild Wild West movie posters.

Upon cracking open the menu you'll instantly see why Maxine's was named one of Texas Monthly's 40 Best Small-Town and Breakfast Cafes.

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The menu is chock-full of local favorites including "Willie's Hearty Breakfast," which comes with a griddle cake, waffle or French toast, along with two eggs made any style you'd like, and your choice of bacon, sausage patty, or ham steak along with your choice of home fried potatoes, oatmeal, or grits.

Or, diners are welcome to create their own omelette out of a list of ingredients a mile long or go sweet with Belgian-style waffles. Of course, if it's your first time visiting, you must order at least one order of the Texas Monthly Stackers, which helped put them on the map. That meal comes with 12 griddle cakes served with a quarter pound pile of bacon.

Don't worry, they also serve classics like chicken and waffles, stone ground grits, and biscuits and gravy too.

Though the diner is packed with visitors now, it wasn't always this way, according to the restaurant's owners, David and Libby Sartain.

The pair explained to The Statesman that they were ready to give up on their dream and pack the restaurant up. But, while on a safari in Africa, they received the news that they would be featured in that very special Texas Monthly piece. It was just the kick they needed to keep serving delicious food to the hungry masses.

"It forces us to be on our best game," Libby told The Statesman. "We strive to live up to the expectations that people have for us."

Next time you're in Texas swing by Bastrop, pick up a short stack and live like a true local.