Finding our way to The Beaver Den


I have a tendency, especially when driving here in mostly rural southern Madison County,  to take the road ahead of me that seems to be going in the general direction I need to be going. “General” can sometimes work out quite well, with some twists and turns that lead to the unfolding of a new way back home or the discovery of  new scenic vistas.

“General” can sometimes work out not so well, and that’s when the groans and dagger eyes from the familial traveling companions can overwhelm the car, and the iPods get plugged in as hope dwindles with each turn, each loop, and each intersection that presents only bad options.

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An aerial view of the hamlet of Brookfield. Click for a larger view and to see The Beaver Den diner

I didn’t jump on the GPS bandwagon.  I have a compass in the one car, and I can do pretty well with that. On Sunday, though, wife L and I were traveling in the non-compass Camry.  And we didn’t quite know where we wanted to eat breakfast until we remembered a conversation a few weeks back about The Beaver Den diner in the town of Brookfield.

So that’s where we headed. Because we were already meandering on Route 20, we actually did OK by just dropping south on Beaver Creek Road until we landed in the hamlet of Brookfield, and its one general store, its school, the county fairgrounds, Flick’s Tavern, fire station, and post office. That pretty much covers it. Oh, and The Beaver Den

The Beaver Den is just south of Main Street on Academy Road. You can’t miss the big green road sign that says, aptly enough, Diner.

Inside, a large section of one wall is covered with wallpaper that depicts a forest with a couple of deer. Not sure why you need that inside when you could drive another five minutes and see a lot of trees and deer. You see Brookfield has about 13,000 acres of state forest. Some nice hiking and some nice trails for horses are readily available.

But I take it as a good sign when the man manning the grill is eating his own food as he is chatting up a few patrons at the counter.  And the food was really good, and incredibly inexpensive. I had a great cheese omelette with toast and sausage and wife L had eggs, hash, and toast. We both had hot teas, and the bill came to $10.75. I mean, c’mon, that’s inexpensive.

The diner is open for lunch and dinner, too, and we’ve been told that the sirloin steak dinner, which is on special on Friday nights, and the prime rib, offered on Saturdays, are quite good. There is a Friday night fish fry available, too, along with burgers and sandwiches.

Working our way back on the Skaneateles Turnpike was one of those “general” direction moments. We ended up going past the assembly area for the horse trails, which was fine, took some interesting turns, which were generally fine, and eventually ended up on Route 12, which was just dandy. It turns out you can get here from there.

We’ll be heading out to The Beaver Den again, I’m sure, when a nice drive and a good inexpensive meal  are on the menu.

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