2718 Monroe Rd
Charlotte, NC 28205
Times may change, but standards must remain. Lupe’s has been the standard for comfort food in the Elizabeth area for over 25 years. When I was making my bones as a young writer, I lived down the street from Lupe’s and jumped at the chance to get quality affordable home cooking. Eventually it became the hip spot for the alternative “in” crowd (they didn’t call us hipsters back then, it was slacker, beatnik, bohemian or at best, a dilettante; because average boring nobodies feel the need to label free-thinkers and nonconformists, so just let the babies have their bottle).
Lupe’s was how I measured how much I liked someone I was dating at the time. If I took you to Lupe’s, it meant that I liked you and you were straight hip. It became almost like a code for the ones you keep or the ones you let get away. Lupe’s opened in 1987 as a traditional home-style café. Not much has changed over the years and the food quality is still excellent. Among the menu favorites are Traditional American comfort dishes such as meatloaf and chicken & dumplings, as well as classic favorites such as Spaghetti and Fettuccini Alfredo. They also feature Barbeque, Burgers, Sandwiches, and Southern-Style sides. Not to be forgotten are the home-made Quiche and tossed salad along with a few awesome Tex-Mex style and Vegetarian dishes. I generally go for the Texas-style chili, which is not for the faint of heart or those who can’t appreciate the spice of life.
The prices are outstanding and even more so in relation to the food quality. They feature 2 dining areas and a bar and offer a beer and wine menu. All beverages are served in glass mason jars for that “Grandma’s summer-kitchen” feel. Most restaurateurs would classify it as a “dive”, but that is just fine with me. It’s clean and comfortable with classic décor and arcade games. I would not recommend it for extra-snooty social climbers without a sense of humor. Once some fella’ received the wine he ordered and said “uh, um, don’t you have wine glasses?” The server paused and said, “Well, the jar is made of glass”. Boom! Says your humble narrator; server one, annoying prat, zero.
Lupe's hours are Monday thru Friday 11am to 10pm and Saturday 12:00pm to 10:00pm. Dress comfortably and bring your appetite. They don’t offer Wi-fi, so leave your work where you found it. Take-out is also available.
I highly recommend Lupe’s café for straightforward comfort cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere.