Chan, 64, has eaten at 6,297 Chinese restaurants (at press time), and he has documented the experiences on an Excel spreadsheet, a data-centric diary of a gastronomic journey that spans the United States and beyond.
A lawyer and accountant by trade, the slim, bespectacled man can debate Toronto's dim sum and rate Chinese buffets in Nashville. Name any neighborhood in Los Angeles and Chan — with a few thoughtful blinks — will produce the name of a Chinese restaurant within a few miles.
I wondered aloud on the Internet which Chinese buffets in Nashville he might have visited — and then lo, via the wondrous time-wasting/interconnecting technology of our time, Chan himself responded. "Golden Coast on West End Ave.," he tweeted in my general direction, "but only on weekends." That had been my guess, and it was nifty to have it validated so quickly. But what about the plural "buffets" referenced in the story? "It was the writer's generic reference," Chan replied. "Tough finding authentic in Nashville." Sure enough. Wonder what he'd think of the revamped Chinatown, though. Maybe somewhere in the 7,000s?