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New China Buffet
3877 N. Gloster St.
Tupelo, MS 38804

We canít say with authority that all of Tupelo is one long strip mall filled with chain restaurants but the part that we were in definitely was. Frustrated, we impulsively went to the New China Buffet (located in the Wal-Mart parking lot), figuring, at the very least, we might get a good story out of it and we did.

The current manager told us his thrilling life tale; born in Hong Kong, moved to Vietnam in time to get whole family trapped there post fall of Saigon, jumped in a boat to freedom at age 12, leaving behind parents, and more, finally winding up in Tupelo, Mississippi working 13 hours a day at the New China Buffet. Anyone care to whine about immigrants right now? We didnít think so.

But what we also got was pretty good Chinese food. We were shocked to see well-over 100 different dishes and while some were admittedly average, others were near the top of Chinese-American, while still others were wild cards, absolutely authentic Chinese dishes whose presence indicates a large enough local immigrant population. Among those many dishes were some non-Chinese choices, including steak, mac ní cheese, and, because they seemed to know we were coming, mini-bacon-wrapped hot dogs, thus winning our hearts forever.

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