The restaurant was widely praised after the story went viral.
The pandemic has affected the livelihoods of millions around the world, especially those from the hospitality industry. While the health crisis is still continuing to impact people, physically, mentally, and financially, one restaurant in Baltimore, Maryland, is being appreciated for its kind gesture despite the hard times. After learning that one of their customers was suffering from stage 4 lung cancer, the owners of the restaurant, Ekiben, Steve Chu, and Ephrem along with their employee Joe decided to make her a special dish.
According to Good News Movement, the woman who stayed about 500 miles away from the restaurant could not order her favorite dish—broccoli tempura. So, her family reached out to the eatery and asked them to share the recipe. Her family had decided to prepare the dish for her at home. However, after hearing about the woman, Chu and his team decided to do something unexpected for her.
Instead of sharing the recipe, the team made a six-hour drive to the woman's house to personally make it for her. The restaurant's gesture went viral after the woman's family member posted the story online. Speaking of the incident on a Facebook group named Canton Neighbors, the family member stated, "My mother-in-law lives in Vermont and would visit my wife and her sister throughout the years. Whenever she was in town, Ekiben's tempura broccoli was something that she always needed to have. She always joked that when she's on her death bed that if there's anything in the world, she wants tempura broccoli from Ekiben."
The relative then disclosed how their in-law was battling cancer since December, 2020. They added that the illness had "greatly reduced the quality of her life." So the family decided to cheer her up with her best-loved dish from Ekiben. They initially thought of getting the dish from the restaurant, but they gave up on the idea after realizing that the dish would not be the same after a six-hour drive.
"We're making a trip up this weekend to potentially say our goodbyes and enjoy some time with her. The drive to Vermont is six hours and tempura broccoli obviously will not taste the same after the long ride," said the post. Consequently, the family reached out to the restaurant.
However, they did not expect the eatery's heartwarming response. "Thanks for reaching out. Ephrem and I are more than willing to meet you guys in Vermont, and make the food fresh so it will be just like what she remembered," responded Chu.
Shortly after, Chu and Ephrem along with their employee Joe surprised the woman at her house. "I'm still in disbelief that they would go to such lengths. There's still hope for humanity. If you haven't tried Ekiben, do so. This gesture alone speaks volumes," said the relative.
The post went viral and the restaurant was recognized for its generous act. "We hear a lot about the challenges of restaurants in Baltimore. Yet despite the pandemic, despite crime, some are still thriving. I always point to Ekiben as a business that always models respect for community and treats people with love. Plus, their food is amazing," wrote Baltimore City Council member, Zeke Cohen, after sharing the story.
Cover Image | Source: Ekiben Baltimore Instagram Page