Pie in the Sky

By Cindy Hemper

When we hear the phrase “Pie in the Sky,” we usually think of our dreams that we one day hope to realize, or perhaps the 1996 romantic comedy starring Josh Charles, Christine Lahti, John Goodman, and Anne Heche.

The “Pie in the Sky” phrase first appeared in “The Preacher and the Slave”, a song written by Joe Hill in 1911, which parodied the Salvation Army hymn “In the Sweet Bye and Bye.”

For the people of Erie Pie in the Sky is not a song or a film, it is the vision of Carmen Opperman that developed into one of Erie’s tastiest dining establishments, the Pie in the Sky Cafe.

Pie in the Sky Café is a small, eclectic restaurant located at 463 West 8th Street, with a much better than typical lunch and dinner menu to say the least.

With a menu that is innovative and inspired along with service that is awesome, the Pie in the Sky Café is really one of the best places to get a meal in Erie or to meet someone for a mid-day coffee or brunch.

This quaint eatery offers cozy booths along the walls that proffer privacy if you prefer a more romantic setting for dinner, while the tables are out in the open. Bright paintings embellish the walls, while black and white squares add a capricious touch to the floor. Although the restaurant is small, larger parties can be accommodated comfortably.

As you are quickly seated, the waiter brings the menu that includes appetizers like bruschetta, calamari, herb mushrooms or crawfish to start off the meal with a full flavored bang. In addition, the Café offers a nice selection of salads and homemade soups that would wet any appetite.

The menu also has a very diverse selection of Entries that include Mediterranean dishes such as Humus, uniquely prepared as a scrumptious sandwich, instead of as it is more commonly served as an appetizer, along with simple favorites like the Tuna Melt, Smoked Turkey Melt, Corned Beef and of course the BLT.

First, I started with the White Rabbit, which is low fat cottage cheese, chopped apples, raisins and poppy seeds topped off with honey, sitting on a lavish bed of greens. This was an excellent beginning to a tremendous Entrée of Eggplant Ciabatta.

This dish was served with roasted red peppers and Kalamata olives between Ciabatta bread that had a light, crisp crust and chewy interior that provided a robust, slightly nutty base to an interesting combination of eggplant and sun-dried tomato pesto.

Just as an interesting note, few places around town use Kalamata olives, which are large, black olives with a smooth, meaty texture, named after the city of Kalamata in southern Peloponnese and Greece.

After I had taken just one bite of this healthy vegetable-laden sandwich, the goodness simply popped and oozed as I realized this was one of the best sandwiches I had eaten since I moved to Erie.

Everything was fresh, cooked to order and simply delicious and garnished beautifully. The Pie in the Sky Café is without a doubt serving up perfection on a plate with every order, taking advantage of each split-second opportunity, to maintain the highest level of service.




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