There is this really good Chinese and Thai restaurant (it’s called Mint for you Atlanta folks) by my office that we always get food from.  It’s in this little Hispanic and Asian shopping center and doesn’t really look like much (well, they’ve redone the entrance so it looks a little fancier now).  It’s this teeny tiny restaurant with about 12 tables, but it gets packed.  The food there is so amazing  and the staff is super sweet.

We order from them so much that they know who we are as soon as we walk in.  Take today for example, I decided I wanted hot and sour soup and basil rolls for lunch.  I decided to just order take out since Mel was to busy to eat out.  When I walked in to pick it up, one of the guys greeted me by name.  He had a huge smile on his face as hey said “Hey Bing.  How have you been?”  We chatted for a few minutes and got caught up – I always assumed he was the owner but I hadn’t seen him in months, but it was good to know he was back.  He is just so sweet.  He asked about all the ladies in my office and asked if we were busy since we hadn’t come in to eat in forever.

There is nothing more pleasing to me than to walk into a restaurant where the staff knows you and greets you with a big smile and seems genuinely happy to see you back there.  And then they kid you about being too busy to come by.  It really makes you feel appreciated and makes you want to continue to eat there again and again.

Just so you can know how great everyone at Mint is, I thought I’d share this little story with you.  Last year Mel (co-worker) and I decided to head there for lunch since it was her birthday.  We’d been pretty busy in the office, so we hadn’t been by in a while.  The same guy from today was asking us why we hadn’t been in.  We told him things were hectic, but we snuck out to celebrate Mel’s birthday.  When he heard that, he got a huge grin on his face then walked away.  A few minutes later he reappeared with a dessert that had a candle sticking out of it.  He wished Mel a happy birthday and let us know that it was a popular Thai dessert.  I’m pretty sure it was called Thai Mango Sticky Sweet Rice, and it was tasty!  I know it wasn’t much, but I thought it was a really sweet gesture. Nothing makes me smile more than when nice, good-hearted people share their happiness with you.  And it gives me the warm fuzzies to know that their restaurant is successful and that everyone who eats there loves it.

Another reason why I love this little place is that the food is delicious.  I have never eaten anything there that didn’t taste good.  And seriously, they have the best hot and sour soup I have ever had.  Anytime I get Chinese, I compare the soup to Mint’s, and it’s always 100 times better than other ones.  I don’t ever think I’ll find a soup that’s as tasty!

Well, that’s it for my randomness.  Off to watch the season finale of Jersey Shore – sadness!

Do you frequent a restaurant that is basically a diamond in the rough where the staff know you by name and tease you for not coming by often enough?