Re:Weekend in Charlotte
Thu, 04/23/09 11:08 AM
Saturday March 28, 2009 cont. Had Lisa not been with me, I undoubtedly would have eaten lunch at Bill Spoon's BBQ. But trying to select a place I thought she would enjoy more, we ate at Lupie's Cafe instead. We braved the rain and ran inside and one of the first things I noticed was this fun sign. Even though we were well past typical lunch time, they were still quite busy. No problem, that just gave me a few minutes to look at the menu board hanging over the counter. Considering I wanted to try just about everything, I had a good feeling about this place. In a very short amount of time, we were led to our table. Now there are two dining rooms here at Lupie's Cafe, divided by a short set of stairs. Our table was on the landing next to the stairs, so that we weren't really in either room. Kind of a strange place, but this is a busy restaurant and space is at a premium. This did not prevent us from receiving excellent service. I had been leaning towards ordering chili, but when Lisa announced she was getting the Texas chili, this allowed me to go in another direction. Her Texas chili (sorry about the lousy photo) was heavy on the meat and spices, with very little sauce at all. Beans, onions and cheese are all optional and she chose to take all three. This chili was quite hot, but that did not hide the terrific spicy beef flavor. She would have preferred more sauce, but I thought it was excellent. Since I am in North Carolina, I again started with brunswick stew. First of all, the portion size was way bigger than I had anticipated. This thing was practically a meal unto itself. It also didn't seem to be quite as sweet and not as much pork as what I ate the night before. Still, a fine meal starter. As good as the burgers in the Michael Stern review look, I can't pass up a place that specializes in Southern vegetables. So I went for the three vegetable plate. The corn tasted fresh, as in not out of a can and were seasoned well. But corn to me rarely tastes much different from place to place. Now, green beans, that is something I truly love, especially done right in the South. And these pork infused green beans were wonderful. On a normal plate they would have been the star. But the mac & cheese was nothing short of spectacular. Soft and loaded with cheese, this is what every mac & cheese should aspire to be. Both Lisa and I went to town on the mac & cheese until it was gone and it left us yearning for me. Along with the version at Gray's Brothers Cafeteria in Indiana, this is the best I have ever had. Not being a cornbread fan, I barely touched mine, although Lisa enjoyed hers with her chili. A couple of sweet teas, frequently refilled, were our beverages. Although we were both stuffed, I couldn't possibly pass up a place well known for their banana pudding. And this was truly great banana pudding. CajunKing, if you haven't been here yet, get in the car and start driving now, because this place is worth it. Just the perfect mixture between fresh banana slices, sweet banana filling and vanilla wafers. My only complaint was the portion size was immense and the two of us together couldn't finish it. Of course, it didn't help that we also tried the chocolate eclair pie, which reminded us more of a pudding. Soft, super sweet and in a much more manageable portion, this was also a winner. If you haven't guessed yet, I loved Lupie's Cafe, which was clearly the best meal of the trip. We saw some burgers and nacho plates go by our table that had us thinking we ordered the wrong things, depite how good our own food was. I already can't wait to go back. Lupie's Cafe 2718 Monroe Road Charlotte, NC 704-374-1232 Lisa was running out of time before she had to head back home. After she exchanged some shoes at the mall, I dropped her back off at her car. It was great to see my friend again! I went back to my hotel to relax for a while.
<message edited by buffetbuster on Thu, 04/23/09 11:13 AM>