By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
Bear with me a little bit while I go on a bit of a ramble.
We took last week off, as most of you probably noticed. This is something that we’ll probably start doing a couple of times a year – but no more than that. We are a weekly newspaper, and we plan on being in your box every week for the most part. If we take time off, rest assured, it will only be for a special occasion. It will also be well planned, so you don’t miss any big news.
This past week was one such situation. It was the week following a holiday, so there wasn’t a lot to miss, and after two and a half years, we were ready for a short break.
We started this newspaper, though, because we care about news access. We care about the community and want them to know what’s going on.
But we’re a small family run operation. No one else is there to pick up the baton and run when we need to step back. This isn’t a complaint, it’s a simple fact. We love what we do, but we’re two people.
I said all that (I told you it was going to be a bit of a ramble) to get to this point.
We aren’t the only family run business in our communities, and they all experience these issues as well. None of them get enough time off, and they all struggle with budgets.
Many of these people could be making more money working for others. Like us, they do what they do because they love it. Because they want to provide this service to their community. So we don’t have to drive all the way to Ashland, Morehead, or Lexington to buy sports gear, or hardware, or new work boots. So we don’t have to cross over into West Virginia to eat a delicious meal.
Recently one of our local restaurants took to Facebook to ask for assistance. They didn’t want donations or handouts. They wanted folks who enjoyed their food to order something from them, so they could afford to keep their gas on. That’s a tough position to be in, and humbling to have to admit, I’m sure.
I have to admit, it wasn’t someplace I’d really eaten at. I’d had a manicotti when they first opened, and it was pretty good. But I usually do Italian at home unless I order a quick pizza, and their location didn’t make that convenient for me in those situations.
But I still have to eat when I’m in town, and I’ve supported other locally owned eateries fairly regularly. So, on Friday, I drove a little outside of town to have my lunch at Tre Fratelli.
I am not sad I did, and I am definitely adding them to my regular rotation. If you haven’t already, you should as well.
Let’s start with the flatbread and red sauce. They’re both made in house, with the bread served fresh and warm from the oven. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s perfect – slightly crisp and buttery on the outside, with a dusting of parsley and grated Parmesan cheese, and soft and fluffy inside.
The red sauce, also served warm, is rich and flavorful, but not complicated. There’s nothing here to put off the finicky. No surprising spices. No overwhelming flavors. But don’t take that to mean it’s boring or plain. This is an elevation of tomato and herbs. Put simply, it’s darn good.
For lunch I had the fettucine alfredo with shrimp. The shrimp were well cleaned and perfectly cooked and the alfredo sauce, also made in house, was thick and rich.
I’m going to try something else next time I’m here, but I have a feeling this is one of those dishes I’m going to start developing those random cravings for.
The menu isn’t big or confusing, so don’t be intimidated. If you come in here you’re going to find the basic Italian dishes you’re familiar with, but executed extremely well.
You’re also going to find an environment that is welcoming for people of faith. If you’ve ever taken your family to a restaurant where you worried about the language on the radio, you’ll be glad to know that Tre Fratelli played a Christian music station the entire time I was dining with them. If good food, welcoming service, and a family friendly environment aren’t enough, while I was there they signed me up for a December 14, drawing for a $250 gift card. As their server said to me when he told me about the contest, “we figure everyone can use some extra money just before the holiday.”
So, we’re asking you to support Tre Fratelli this holiday season, and all of our locally owned businesses.
Considering tools for a holiday gift? Get them from one of our local hardware stores like James Do-It-Best or Gibbs True Value. Got a kid into sports? Grayson Sporting Goods probably has something they’d like. We need to support our locally owned, family run businesses.
Because when family owned businesses do grow, they hire locally. So, much more of the money they make stays in the local economy. It circulates locally and helps grow and support our communities.
If we want nice places to live, with things to do and places to shop, we have to support local.
Sending our money away to Amazon and Walmart is sometimes unavoidable, but it doesn’t do anything to help the communities we live in.
When we can do that, we should.
Contact the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org