Other than leaving the raincoat at home and placing the double-sided lattice crimper in carry-on luggage, my holiday has been happily without incident. Brilliant sun pours down from a cobalt sky, feeling deliciously warm against a baker’s kitchen white skin. For an individual emerging from a lengthy east coast winter, the west coast weather is cause for celebration. Lace up the running shoes and strike up the itunes.
My feet are traversing the sunny side of Vermont Avenue inching their way towards the corner of Franklin. There is no turning back; I push the pause button on my running app and allow the LA landmark, House of Pies to draw me in. My melted self and running gear look totally out of place amidst the 8:00 am-ers tucked into naugahyde vinyl booths, heads bowed over cups of coffee. The House of Pies is as retro as the day is warm. Anytime Breakfast permeates the air. Skillet eggs and huevos rancheros vie for attention against imitation maple syrup and bacon just off the flat-top griddle. To my right is a carousel of pies, lazily spinning in circles. Standing tall behind the counter are bakers racks lined with sheet pans of freshly baked pies, some sporting woven lattice. Double door refrigerators hold lofty creams and towering meringues. Rumor has it the strawberry cream has a passionate following. Being on foot eliminates the cream pie option. Not to worry- there’s plenty more from which to choose.
It’s early in the day, but my running shoes cannot be stopped, propelling me towards the mustached gentleman behind the counter. Blinded by the sunlight, I squint and point at the pie in closest proximity, steam rising through the lattice weave. I hear myself order one slice of pineapple pie to go. The pie meister retreats to the bakers rack, selects the still-warm pie and slices it generously. Four dollars and one square styrofoam container later I am on my way.
Cradling the precious cargo and running more cautiously now, the wait at the traffic intersection of Sunset and Hollywood is interminable. Having learned the intricacies and penalties of jay-walking on my last visit, I wait patiently. Finally, the green light teamed with the white silhouette of the walkin’ man indicate it is safe to cross.
The pineapple pie proves to be a hearty traveler, the lattice crust still intact, the thick filling holding on to the confines of its triangular slice. In the warmth of the sun with a tall glass of icy cold coffee, this is California dreamin’ come true. Pineapple pie for breakfast under a canopy of leggy palms and purple Jacaranda. Pass the sunscreen, please.