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Jun 29, 2011 03:52 PM

Mississippi Delta Chinese?

Hi, this might seem like a strange request, but I'll be spending five days in the Delta region in September. I'm working on a project involving long lived, continuously run Chinese restaurants around the country. Does anyone have any idea if there are any Chinese restaurants in the Delta that have been there for a very long time - ideally since the 1920s or '30s? If there's one in Oxford or across the river in Arkansas, that wouldn't be too far away. Thanks.

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  1. Get in touch with these people:
    Ask for John T. Edge. He can hook you up.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Big Daddy

      Thanks very much. I just sent John Edge an email and we'll see what happens. I'll be in the Delta in late September and maybe something will come up. Although, I must admit, Chinese food isn't what I usually have in mind when I'm in that neck of the woods.

      1. re: estone888

        Neither are tamales, but the Delta and the state have some fame for theirs'. This is going to be interesting and I'd love to hear where your research leads you.

        1. re: Big Daddy

          I have had some mighty fine tamales in the Delta. I'll let you know. If you ever need any info about Los Angeles, let me know. Thanks again.

    2. There are a lot of small Chinese restaurants in the Delta. A lot of Chinese migrated here after WWII and opened grocery stores. A lot of those small stores have chinese food to go. Many opened restaurants. Here's a link to visiting the Delta. Click on dining and search by town and type food. There's a good one on Highway 82 E in Greenville.

      China Royal is probably the best in Oxford.

      China Royal
      1938 University Avenue, Oxford, MS 38655-4114
      (662) 513-4999 () ‎

      1 Reply
      1. re: Littleman

        There are a lot of grocery stores and some restaurants in the smaller towns, and about all of those are run by people who have been there long enough for the Chinese to develop very strong Southern accents. (By the way, the Chinese were brought in during the latter part of the 19th century to build railroads.) You might stop at the Chinese church in Cleveland and ask, since a lot of the Delta towns are drying up andblowing away. Ther's also a Chinese-ruun restaurant there. The food in the Chinese restaurants in the Delta is not like Chinese food anywhere else.

      2. Hi...just discovered your query and I'm curious as to whether you found any Chinese vintage restaurant as I never heard of any that date that far back. The How Joy in Greenville is one of the oldest, started in late 50s, I believe, but long out of business, and the building just demolished this year. Almost all Delta Chinese ran grocery stores until recent times.

        1. What turned out to be your favorite places and where and will you keep us updated here?

          1. Hi, I didn't find much at all. A couple of groceries that also served up some Chinese food to takeaway. One in Webb run by the son of a family that had been in Mississippi for 35 or so years. I couldn't really bring myself to try much of the food anywhere and have nothing to recommend. I did find a surprisingly well-stock Asian market in Memphis, the Great China at 5137 Summer Ave. It was interesting that they get their fresh produce from farms in Louisiana. I'll be back this coming spring and plan on continuing my exploration. I may even work up my courage, sacrifice a few tried and true southern cooking meals, and eat in some restaurant.

            2 Replies
            1. re: estone888

              When in Memphis, be sure to check out the Winchester Farmers Market. Not what it sounds like. It is a huge grocery store (I think it used to be a Kroger) that has just about anything you could ever want from just about anywhere on the planet, including fresh produce, fish tanks (live eels!), frozen stuff and canned and jarred... Memphis's best kept secret!