I've been avoiding Central Buffet on Centre St. above Canal for sometime now. Not only do I have a lifelong hatred of buffets (no doubt a subtle form of rebellion from my parents who are as equally obsessed with the quantity of food available as I am with the quality) but the idea of five food items plus soup for four dollars almost scares me. The selection is totally overwhelming, the soup an afterthought, but it's quite a good way to experiment with different items you might not normally order given only a menu and a poorly translated description. The tripe was actually tender. A tofu and eggwhite rectangle was rich and satisfying. A stirfry of baked tofu, jalapenos, and tiny salted fish was overwhelmingly spicy but delicious. The most attractive part of the whole deal was the downey white, perfectly cooked rice. It was the best rice I've had in ages. I could have easily skipped the other four items and eaten an entire cafeteria tray full of the stuff myself.