Sometimes a busted road trip can be salvaged.
Case in point: Wife L and I had driven to Remsen for the annual Barn Festival on Saturday. It was a nice ride up Route 12, but when we got to the dedicated parking areas west of the village, they were full. When we crept closer in, we were waved along by volunteers managing the big crowds, and waved along, and waved along, until we found ourselves past the village, past the craft vendors, past the food vendors, and well, past everything we wanted to see.
Not being Mr. Patient, I opted to keep driving and visit the festival another time. It was, after all, a spectacular autumn day in upstate New York and it wasn’t worth getting stalled in traffic or getting too wound up.
We drove along Route 365 and eventually found ourselves on Route 274 headed toward Westernville, on Route 46 north of Rome. For us, as we drove closer toward Rome, this meant fond memories of The Cove restaurant and bar, now closed, and a more distant memory of the Delta Lake Inn, still open.
The last time we were there was for the 30th wedding anniversary of my in-laws, about 20 years ago. My in-laws are still together, though the inn has had its share of breakups, with a couple different owners over the years.
We pulled into the inn’s parking area on what still was a spectacular sunlit afternoon and were greeted by an inviting multi-level deck with views of the huge spillway and the shimmering waters of Delta Lake.
A family had brought their St. Bernard out for lunch, and she was dozing at their table, content to sit in the sun as they enjoyed their meal. We were seated at a nearby table, hungry from our fruitless, though pretty, ride to Remsen.
The inn has a wide variety of salads, soups, sandwiches, and burgers for lunch. I opted for a Reuben with thinly sliced corned beef on toasted marble rye with sauerkraut and Swiss cheese. It was terrific. The corned beef was lean and flavorful, and the marble rye was the perfect envelope. My $9 sandwich came with a house salad, which was a far cry from the boring salads that seem to be after-thoughts at some restaurants. This was a tasty collection of lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, onion, and crunchy croutons. It made me glad to have passed on the french fries.
Wife L selected a chicken salad sandwich served on ciabatta bread. It came with cranberry sauce, sliced apples, and was topped with melted brie cheese. It was delicious.
The inn is a rambling structure, with a long narrow porch with tables that offer great views of the lake, a room for large parties, a smaller room with a piano in the corner, and other nooks and crannies that provide more dining options. The bar touts large Harp and Guinness signs.
Even though we failed in our attempt to visit the Barn Festival, we won with our re-discovery of a place that has seen some significant change but seems to have come out on top.