Kindness. To me, there is not many greater gifts than someone being kind. This past weekend a new client of mine asked my husband and I to come to his restaurant for dinner so he could make us his best pizza. Well, if you know me…I don’t eat pizza; however I glanced at the menu and knew I could create something. I mostly wanted to say hello, enjoy a quick salad and get on with the last weekend before Christmas. I mean, I had a list a million sheets thick to take care of. I was practicing being “present”, though, so upon our journey there, I let go of obligations and figured we’d stay maybe an hour; calculating in the back of my mind that I still had time to wrap presents if we were home in another hour and a half.
After a full tour of his impeccable 20 year old establishment and introductions to all his staff, Ali led us over to a table made up just for us. He brought over his special eggplant creation, homemade baklava (I’m on my no sugar challenge so my husband had to step up here and have some!) a glass of wine for each of us, freshly made bread (again, my husband “had” to step up here) and then proceeded to ask us about our lives. He was genuinely interested in “us” and spent time inquiring. When we arrived, I asked for some lemon with my water. After about 10 minutes I thought he had forgotten. Then to my surprise, one of his employees was asked by Ali to run to his house down the street and pick us about 10 fresh lemons from his tree! Ali knew I loved them and he was at close of business so was running out.
He made Brad a special “creation” pizza and cooked up a salmon steak for me, seasoned and cooked to perfection. It was probably the best salmon I’ve had in a very long time.
Ali paid attention to every detail and at the end of the night (which was about 2 hours later), he bundled up everything we didn’t finish and gave us a beautiful to go box.
Both of us were astounded at the level of kindness he showed to us. His professionalism and friendship were both unequivocally genuine. It reminded me how special one can feel when a little extra smile is added to the equation. Ali heightened my awareness of customer service, pride and how nice it is to simply listen.
The restaurant is “The Last Chance” in San Jose. I recommend you go there, have fun, enjoy the deep roots and pride the owner and his workers place in what they call their second home. We will go back, not just for the food, but for the fellowship.
Honestly, he had me when I got a bag of fresh handpicked lemons! Now that was kind.