Zodiac, The Sign for Good Food
By Cindy Hemper
The signs of the Zodiac are believed to give us great insights into our day-to-day living as well as the many talents and special qualities we posses. In Erie the sign for great food is undeniably, the Zodiac Dinor located at 2516 State St.
This quaint little eatery has counter seating out front, along with several nostalgic, Formica-topped kitchen style tables similar to those our grandparents may have had, all ringed with chrome or brushed aluminum, which prettifies the back room.
As a first time customer, I was instantly impressed as I entered the establishment. Decorated in a retro style theme with dazzlingly vibrant walls painted in electric shades of blues and purples, and furnishings upholstered in period fabric, all complemented with a working jukebox, adding to the atmosphere of a time long past.
Designed as a 50’s and 60’s period dinor, owner Mike Incandela has created a one of a kind restaurant that has become a favorite of the Erie community.
As what may be a little known fact, the Zodiac Dinor takes its inspiration from the Zodiac Club, as depicted in the 1958 film “Bell, Book and Candle,” staring Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak, which is believed to have later encouraged the television series “Bewitched.”
In addition to many other tasty selections, the breakfast menu lists more than a dozen three-egg omelets, ranging from the “git ‘er done Western” to the appropriately named “Kitchen Sink” dish.
Though the Zodiac Dinor is well known for its fantastic, hugely proportioned breakfasts, it also offers a menu with an excellent selection of cooked-to-order sandwiches and burgers along with a very nice complement of salads and sides, all to suit whatever tastes you may crave.
My experience was truly fabulous, the menu selection was rather varied with prices that were very reasonable for any budget. The Italian Bread French toast that was served freshly and made with a choice of a variety of sides that came quickly and all was uniquely delicious.
The only drawback to this restaurant would be the parking, with only street side parking that runs along State St., finding a spot is a bit challenging, though well worth the effort.
Since Incandela established the Zodiac Dinor, it has become a city fixture and an artists’ nexus dishing up impeccable service, along with simple, yet perfectly prepared fare with every dish they serve.
Overall, the Zodiac is the best small diner experience in Erie, and like the establishment itself, has a one of a kind flavor that is definitely worthy of stopping by and having a fantastic meal with that old-fashioned feel unlike that of any other place in town.