Do you feel the need? The need for…nope, not speed! Pie! Yes, I said pie! Not speed! Just a few feet from Oceanside’s pier sits a small blue and white Victorian home, almost enveloped, Up style, by a gleaming hotel, this is The Famous High Pie.
Originally built in 1887, the home was once known as the Graves House, as it was Dr. Harvey Graves’ vacation home, but today its better known as the “Top Gun House” as it was featured in the 1986 Tom Cruise film as the house of Kelly McGillis’ character, Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood. Banking on the following of the iconic film, High Pie runs with Top Gun theming, (complete with the same make and model motorcycle, and even call sign stickers, that Maverick rides sitting out front) while still embracing the Queen Anne elements of the house and the Oceanside location. Speaking of location, the tiny 500 square foot house was moved from its original location just down the street, as to become part of the Mission Pacific Hotel, hence its Up house like appearance.
Back in the late 1800s this beach front street was lined with similar homes, but one by one they were torn down, until this was the only one remaining. The city purchased the house sometime in the 1980s to protect it, but did little with it. In the years that follow the filming of Top Gun it started to look a little rundown, and was boarded up with Top Gun posters stapled to the outside. When Mission Pacific Hotel owner Scott Malkin moved the house he also spent almost $1 million to restore it, and worked with the Oceanside Historical Society and Save Our Heritage to get it right, and opened earlier this year.
High Pie is the product of Tara Lazar, a woman of many hats; chef, restauranteur, hotelier, founder of F10. She was initially hired for the Mission Pacific Hotel’s main restaurant, and then began brainstorming ideas for the relocated Top Gun house. Ultimately she decided on a strictly pie-only menu. Her jumping off point was McDonald’s apple pies, but she “wanted to re-create that in a really nutritious recognizable ingredient kind of way, using old-fashioned butter, cup-for-cup flour that’s gluten-free and filling that are very clean ingredients, like cherry, almond extract and sugar.” The menu features a small selection of tasty hand pies that are super cute, but the packaging they are served in is even more adorable! While apple and cherry are always on the menu, seasonal offerings are rotated throughout the year. During my visit with my friend, and Top Gun mega fan, Kaitlyn, they offered strawberry rhubarb. I would love to return in the fall to see what their autumnal offering is.
Grab a hand pie and walk up the same steps as Maverick at The Famous High Pie at 250 N. Pacific Street in Oceanside. For hours and other details, please visit High Pie’s website.