A man’s got to eat after touring man caves at Parade of Homes


I have a serious case of man-cave envy.

This flared up Saturday as Wife L, Aunt L, and I walked through several houses decked out for the annual Parade of Homes event, held this year at Riverwalk in the town of Clay.

One of the homes had three TVs in the lower-level man-cave, two of them right next to each other. One was a monster flat-screen that had an incredible sound system that could be heard, and felt, throughout the spacious room. A good 60-inches, at least, and the clarity was startling.  The smaller TV, which was still about a 30-inch diagonal, was parked right next to it.  Why so close?

Well, said the man-cave attendant, you need one for watching and one for gaming. All so a few guys can hang out on the same couch and multitask their lives away. The third TV was next to the pool table, which was across from the major bar area, which was not too far from the second master suite.

See what I mean? Major man-cave envy.

Not a man-cave, but a beautiful fireplace and window in the main living area of one of the Riverwalk homes.

Not a man-cave, but a beautiful fireplace in the main living area of one of the Riverwalk homes.

I enjoy walking through these homes to see what I can never afford. I learned that quartz is the new granite, and while the man-caves were cool, there were only a couple of them in the eight houses we toured. The big thing now seems to be the master bathroom. If it doesn’t have two sinks, a huge jacuzzi tub, and a shower that can fit four and has at least two shower heads per person, it’s not worth considering.

One gorgeous master bath actually had a small TV built behind the mirror over the double-sink vanity, so that you could watch the weather and catch up on the news as you brush the pearly whites, shave, or apply lipstick. Of course there is no guarantee that the shave will be painless or the lipstick will actually be applied to be the lips if you’re watching TV at the same time, so buyer beware.

I also thought it interesting that the other bedrooms, whether it’s another two or three, were much smaller than I expected. I think parents have decided they deserve a luxurious master suite while Johnny and Sally can each have their own rooms, but they’ll have to make due with tiny dimensions. Not bad logic, really, because how much floor space does a kid really need to pile up dirty laundry?

All the homes were gorgeous, and I was intrigued that the development is building dedicated walking paths  through a 100-acre preserve that has been designed by the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and will be owned by the Central New Land Trust.  Seems like an interesting collaboration.

Looking out on the Oneida River from the Waterfront's deck.

Looking out on the Oneida River from the Waterfront’s deck.

Riverwalk is just west of the hamlet of Brewerton, and after our tour we drove back to Route 11 and headed just a couple miles north to the Waterfront Tavern, which sits on the river just where it begins to open up into Oneida Lake. It was still warm enough for the three of us to sit outside on the mammoth multi-tiered deck, complete with fake palm trees,  and look out on the river.  

We all commented about how eating outside right on the water, whatever water it is,  makes you feel like you’re on vacation. Add to that the cheers of the college football fans in the bar area, and we did feel like we landed at the right place.

The Waterfront seems to play off its atmosphere more than anything else. The menu is not particularly creative but is expansive, ranging from wings, burgers, sandwiches, and wraps to a chargrilled delmonico steak for $18.99 or jumbo sea scallops for $17.99.

We were in sandwich mode, and I ordered the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich. For a couple bucks more you get two sides, and I opted for baked beans and cole slaw. My sandwich was spiced hot, just like I ordered it, and served on a warm, fresh bun. The chicken breast was tender and meaty, and I smothered it in bleu cheese.

Wife L had one of the specials: fried perch that came with salt potatoes. The perch was flaky and flavorful; she only wished for a little more of it. Aunt L enjoyed her Steak Philly, a monster of a sandwich that came with peppers, cheese, mushrooms, and melted cheese. The sandwich platters were around the $10.99 mark. Not inexpensive, but the food was good and the outdoor dining couldn’t be beat.

Lunch did, at least for a while, send my man-cave envy into remission. Though the more I think about that 60-inch TV, the more I ….

Bird's-eye view of a kitchen island at a Riverwalk home.

Bird’s-eye view of a kitchen island at a Riverwalk home.

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