POTTSBORO — As we head into class reunion/homecoming season, I couldn’t help but reflect on how much Pottsboro has changed in the last 35 years.

I can only remember Docs barbecue, and I’m not sure what the name of the burger place was but those were only two food options in Pottsboro.

Mitchell’s was the grocery store and everyone went to Armstrong to cruise to have somewhere to hang out.

As I look at Pottsboro today, I never would’ve thought we would have the food options that we have now. It’s really awesome to see the growth that has happened. Who would have ever thought we would have a Brookeshire’s here in town as our grocery option?

It’s only been a couple of weeks since we had another new addition to our community, but Genti’s Pizza and Pasta is now open. They are located off 289, right after the Tanglewood exit. It’s pretty amazing to see how much that little strip mall has developed over the last year.

Facility: When we arrived there was a gentleman out front sitting at a table smoking. As we got closer, he got up and went inside. Sara met us at the door and welcomed us and told us to have a seat anywhere we would like. She brought us menus and then she took our drink order. I ordered water with lemon and my guest had Coke ($1.79)

Food: While she was getting our drinks, we took a moment to review the menu. There were many options, but we settled on the bruschetta for our appetizer ($4.95). This is bread, with fresh tomato slices on top, covered with fresh mozzarella and baked to a golden brown. Had I known this appetizer was going to be this good, I probably would’ve just had it as my entree. The crunchy toast wrapped the flavor of the warm tomato and real melted mozzarella.

Sarah was so excited about the food that they serve, so I basically said yes to anything that she suggested. She said one of the best entrees that this restaurant serves is the lobster ravioli ($11.95). It is fresh-made ravioli with a lobster concoction, smothered in a tomato-based sauce. The flavor of this meal was wonderful and it is served hot. It is very rich but still good and the presentation is fantastic. This entree was also served with a fresh salad. The veggies were fresh, crisp and served with ranch dressing, my dressing of choice. They also have a unique house dressing, that is certainly worth a try. Sarah was the one who brought this to our attention and was so excited to bring us a sample. It tastes like an oil and vinegar-based dressing with a unique flavor. It was really, really good. Ask for a sample, if you make it out here.

My guest ordered the shrimp fettuccine Alfredo ($13.95). You could tell that this dish was made with real cream and real butter, as that flavor came through very strong. The pasta was cooked perfectly and there was shrimp peppered throughout the entree. The flavor was amazing and so was the presentation. This entree also included a salad. With our meal, we were also served hot loaves of bread with butter.

Sarah was very attentive and checked back with us often to make sure that we were OK and that we did not need anything.

When we got to the end of our meal she asked us if we would like dessert, so because she asked, I said sure. Once again, I let her decide on what it was we would have for dessert. She suggested the Italian wedding cake ($5.95) — moist cake, with different spices and cream cheese icing. It was very fresh and it was extremely flavorful. Excellent choice, Sarah.

Final thoughts: Sara was so excited that basically everything she spoke about I ordered. Since they had just opened, the appearance of the interior of the building was clean and the exterior is pretty new as well. It looks really good.

I have been in the retail environment for a long time, and since I would really like to see this restaurant succeed, I have a couple of unsolicited suggestions or ideas for them.

For one, I wouldn’t smoke by the front door if you are the cook. Move your smoking table to the back of the restaurant. I have nothing against smokers. I just don’t think that’s a great welcome for any business when patrons are coming into your doors to order food.

Second, I would establish a uniform that mirrors your business. In the area that your restaurant resides, you should mirror that environment. Your food is certainly good enough to carry you. I just think it would be a nice addition to see maybe a white or black shirt and maybe black slacks. It would really be neat if the cook would wear some type of chef uniform since the kitchen is open for everyone to see. The right dress could really help the ambience.

Change it up a little to mirror what you would like for people to remember about your restaurant.

They do have delivery available if you’d like to call in an order and also have the option to bring your own beverage if you wish.

So, congratulations on your new business, just understand there are two other Italian restaurants already in Pottsboro. What will you do to step up and offer something above Roma’s and Napoli’s? Both of them run great businesses and have excellent options for their patrons.

I would certainly go back and I encourage everyone to give them a try. It’s money well spent.