Lupie’s

Review by: Michael Stern

Lupie’s is the sort of place locals love but outsiders seldom discover. Charlotte friends Jay and Susan told me that the ramshackle eat-place has been around since 1987, and although they might not give it a 100 score for fastidious housekeeping, the vegetables make everything worthwhile. 4-vegetable plates are 4-star fabulous, such combos as painfully tender discs of yellow squash with sweet onions, green beans (non-canned, well-cooked) saturated by tidal waves of pork flavor, large hunks of carrot sweetened with brown sugar, and super-cheesy mac & cheese.

I ordered a vegetable plate contingent on a trade agreement in which Susan agreed to share her bacon cheeseburger in exchange for some of my macaroni and cheese. It was a good deal. The cheeseburger is a sloppy, full-flavored stack of juicy beef, thick and salty bacon, really tasty slices of tomato, and a kaleidoscope of condiments – all but mustard, which Susan, strangely, abjures. Jay’s vegetarian chili was a rib-sticking pleasure, just a little bit spicy, heaped with shredded orange cheese and raw onions. The menu also lists Cincinnati chili and Texas chili.

Lupie’s has an unvarnished charm that is increasingly rare in a world of corporate restaurants with carefully plotted themes. Its theme, I would say, is square meals for honest dollars. Décor includes hagiographic images of Elvis as well as portraits of Lupie’s waitstaff from years past. When I extolled the macaroni and cheese at the cash register while paying the bill, the woman there beamed and said that next time, I should try her nachos, a plate of which I saw going past, crowned with the same scrumptious, half-melted cheese. I don’t know whether or not she was the Guadalupe who is the force behind this fine place, but the pride she evidenced in the restaurant’s good food was adorably proprietary.

Directions & Hours

11am - 9pm
  • Monday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Thursday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Friday: 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Saturday: 12:00 – 9:00 PM
  • Sunday: Closed

What To Eat

4 Vegetable Plate

DISH
Vegetarian Chili

DISH
Bacon Cheeseburger

DISH
Chili Mac

DISH
Sweet Tea

DISH
Banana Pudding

DISH
Greens Soup

DISH
Macaroni and Cheese

DISH

Lupie’s Recipes

Discuss

What do you think of Lupie’s?

2 Responses to “Lupie’s”

Tom Lewis

September 25th, 2011

Lupie’s is a great comfort food place. I find it very difficult to order something other than chili mac with Texas chili all the way. The bowl is huge, filled with spaghetti, Texas chili, pintos, onions, and cheese. The cornbread has a zingy, slightly sour taste that is wonderful.

My wife likes to go on Thursday evenings because the special is chicken and dumplings. We’re also suckers for the freshly baked pound cake that is available at the checkout area. We snag a couple of pieces, then stop for ice cream so we can have dessert at home. We’ve never had a bad meal at Lupies and we’ve been eating there 15 years.

Reply

Patricia Beninato

January 20th, 2010

One of the joys of having non-Roadfood-fanatic friends is that you can introduce them to the goodness awaiting them in their home city. So it was when I visited a friend of mine who’d lived in the Charlotte area most of her thirty-some years but had never heard of Lupie’s Cafe when I said that I wanted to go there. As it turned out, Lupie’s is right near the college she attended … and she never knew it was there.

Lupie’s is located in a borderline run-down section of Charlotte, the building a bit on the ramshackle side both inside and out. But the parking lot is full and the place is packed, with cheerful waitresses bustling about delivering mouthwatering-looking food. My friend ordered a cheeseburger while our other friend ordered the vegetarian chili–she was looking at the Cincinnati chili but she’d never had it before and as it’s an acquired taste I steered her away. I went for a hot dog topped with Texas-style chili and coleslaw, and we all got macaroni and cheese for our sides.

I’m usually not a fan of baked mac and cheese but I will make a very large exception for Lupie’s version. It is extremely creamy and rich and well-seasoned, with just a little top chewiness… carb heaven. The chili-slaw dog was dressed perfectly, the coleslaw providing a nice chill against the authentic heat of the chili. My friends raved about their food choices and the sweet tea served in Mason jars. Not being a fan of tea I went with the other house wine of the South, Dr Pepper, also served in a jar.

The best part was that the three of us ate and drank extremely well for around twenty bucks. Lupie herself mans the cash register, and she beamed with pride when we babbled about how awesome the food had been. She’s probably used to that reaction by now.

Reply

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