A local favorite: Hokkaido

I won't go into too much detail about the Japanese restaurant Hokkaido, because most of the Tuscaloosa readers will know the place well. It is located on 15th St. (where the old Great Wall restaurant used to be). You have to get there by 11:15 or 11:20 for lunch because the parking lot fills up really fast! The bento box lunches are great, the grill is excellent, and the sushi is fantastic. However, these aren't necessarily the only reasons to go. The best reason: Charles. Charles is the manager and he is wonderful. My boss and her husband and I go there every week and Charles often makes a point to come over and speak to us. He knows our names and knows what we like to eat, as do the waitresses. The service is excellent in spite of the fact that they are constantly slammed. Still, Charles is the bomb. Charles is from China. He has the cutest two kids (a boy and a girl) and his wife is pregnant again--and even though we don't know her, we are all excited!

The best thing about Charles is that even though his work is extremely hard (I really admire that he is willing to do anything in the restaurant even though he owns it), he always has a smile on his face and a great outlook on life. He said the other day that as long as he wakes up in the morning he considers it to be a great day. Really, how many people do you meet that can say that? He has such a great spirit and it reflects in his success.

So, if you are ever in Hokkaido in Tuscaloosa, make sure you take the chance to introduce yourself to Charles. Get to know him. He is a great person.


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