Small gesture at Minneapolis' Lotus Restaurant brings back happy memories

For Yoom Nguyen, food is literally family

"It's made with a lot of love," said Nguyen.

His parents opened Lotus Restaurant in Minneapolis nearly 40 years ago, and they've been serving up traditional Vietnamese food like pho ever since. Years ago, it was the dish that brought Stronjae Hardin and her uncle, Ronald, to the restaurant.

"He was a good man. A great man. He just meant everything to me," said Hardin.

They bonded over the comforting soup. "I've just been hooked (on pho) ever since, so this is...where we have made a memory at," said Hardin.

Ronald passed away in 2015 but has always stayed close to Stronjae's heart. This past Monday, she returned to Lotus for a quick lunch and got to talking with Yoom, who instantly remembered her uncle. That's when something unexpected happened.

"He walked up with a bowl of pho to honor my uncle," said Hardin.

"When we eat, we eat together. When his sister is here and his niece is here, it was only right for me to bring it out and tell them hey your uncle is still here," said Nguyen.

The small act of kindness stunned Hardin, who posted about it on Facebook.

"I don't think I've ever had anyone be that kind to me before and generous...someone that I don't even know."

The last few years have not been easy, both in the restaurant business and in the city of Minneapolis.

"Sometimes, you forget to be kind to one another and I remember Minneapolis as being kind," said Hardin.

The gesture serves as a reminder that good still exists.