Our family loves a trip to the run-down shack on Monroe Road known as Lupie’s. Though it’s not much to look at on the outside, inside is one of Charlotte’s best café’s. Established in 1987, you’ll find an eclectic mix of businessmen, college students and families with kids for a weekend lunch. Amidst the funky décor, where Kermit the frog mixes with bicycles on the ceiling, waiters serve up chili, burgers, soups and homemade comfort food at low prices.

Chili is served in three styles: Texas Chili (Hot!!!), Cincinnati Chili and Vegetarian Chili (Hot!!). I tried a big Texas bowl smothered in cheese with cornbread on the side. One bite sent my son running for a big glass of milk. If you don’t like chili, you can’t go wrong with the enormous plate of nachos — loaded down with the works and plenty to share. Or try one of the daily specials, from spaghetti to chicken and dumplings.

The giant burgers are tops on the list here, with a variety of fixin’s to make them just right. We brought along a friend, to see if a Lupie’s burger could satisfy a teen appetite. It did. (A note to those devoted to fries. Lupie’s does not serve them.) For the little kids, hot dogs and delicious mac-n-cheese are a yummy option.

When we finished our lunch, the boys ordered dessert — banana pudding. It was a sweet Southern way to end our meal at Lupie’s. Not a drop was left in the bowl.

If you’re looking for a meal to fill you up at a great price, and with a decidedly local flavor, take the whole family to Lupie’s. If you live up north, try the Huntersville location.

The Chow Down
Lupie’s Café • 2718 Monroe Road, Charlotte

Dollar deal: $3.45 – $7.50

Décor/Atmosphere: Eclectic, funky and casual

Kids’ Menu: None, but hot dogs and mac-n-cheese are options.

Amenities: High chairs and boosters

Got Milk/Juice: Yes on milk; no juice

Smoking/Nonsmoking: Nonsmoking until 2 p.m. on weekdays, 4 p.m. Saturdays.

Phone: 704-374-1232

Web site: