Food is one of the best ways I know to show someone you care about them. A meal carefully prepared and served with love is a far cry from mere sustenance. Now there are plenty of restaurants that are very passionate about serving great food. They love what they do and they care deeply about providing a good experience to their customers. But how many places truly show love through their food?
Well I know of one such place, and it's not what you'd expect. My grandparents are very nice little old Southern folks who live in Charlotte. They visit a local strip mall Chinese spot, Baoding, with such frequency that you'd expect the staff to recognize them. But Baodings goes far beyond that. Not only do they know my grandparents, but they greet them at the door with genuine warmth and enthusiasm. They even know when to expect them and will await their arrival outside of the restaurant to usher them in. The kitchen prepares them special meals in accordance with my grandfather's very restrictive health needs.
But wait, there's more...
When Charlotte had an ice storm several years back, my grandparents were without power for an extended period. The owner of Baoding invited my grandparents to stay at his house. He invited two customers into his home. That's bananas.
And when the Mr. and I visited recently, their favorite waitress was excited to meet us. We chatted at the table for a while, and I didn't think too much of it. But when she followed us out to hug us goodbye, she wept (real honest to goodness tears!) as she spoke about how she loves them like family. Mind officially blown.
Most recently my grandfather had a stay in ICU. The team at Baoding of course took notice and planned to deliver food to their house when they got home. Mind you, Baoding does not deliver. How incredible are these people?
Do they do this for every regular customer? I sincerely doubt it. A lot of this is due to what truly wonderful, lovable people my grandparents are. But if there was ever a case of showing love through food, this is it. If I can't live near my grandparents, I'm so glad that there is someone nearby who cares about them so much and feeds them well.