Clay pot looks slightly uninviting from the outside, but the food makes up for it. The seating style is either table or sit, family-style, around the table on the floor. Out of the three areas to get boba smoothies in the waco area, they are my favorite. The boba smoothie is made with warm tapioca pearls and is given in generous amounts here. The pho never disappoints. If you aren;t a big pho fan, then there is a vast amount of other asian dishes such as the chicken clay pot. They seem understaffed at times and so there can be quite a wait when the night is busy.
Came here with some friends for the very first time about a year ago. The chicken dish that I had was spicy and amazing. Also the bubble tea was extremely good. I had never had bubble tea type of drink before. Would def recommend to anyone. Also has TV's if you need to watch the big game!
Great family owned restaurant near Baylor. They've recently added a nice selection of beer and wine to go with their amazing food. Some of my favorites are the curry clay pot, fried rice, the Pho, garlic chicken, the dumplings and their spring rolls! There is something on the menu for everyone. Their portions are generous and the prices are great. Also Tuesday is buy one get one spring rolls - I get in trouble on Tuesdays! :)
I know it's cliche to review Clay Pot, but it's cliche for a reason: Clay Pot is awesome. I always get the pho soup or clay pot on the lunch special. Both with tofu. The special also comes with spring rolls and tea. Everything you need for $5.99 is in that quaint pink restaurant. The service is always cheerful and quick. I would recommend this place to anyone.
They have em here now (actually have had em for a while) Lunch only but they are SOO good!!! They make a pork meatball version and it is my new jam! such a delicious sandwich. I ask for easy cilantro (as it can be a bit over-powering) but that is it!
Part of the experience of visiting Clay Pot is sitting on the floor eating your meal. Yes, they have chairs and tables, but you go partly for the experience, right? I hadn't been in awhile and was sad to see some of my favorite dishes no longer available. But the tea was just as good! My favorite is the Chrysanthemum tea which is hot, creamy, and has a hint of spice in there. Yum! For someone who doesn't seek out Asian food, I do enjoy some of their dishes, including the spring rolls.
Let me preface this by saying I love this place. Like borderline obsession sometimes. Those emotions aside, the Vietnamese cuisine to be had here is simply stellar. I always get a small cup of their pho before any meal (unless of course I can hear the knock of death in my temples after a long night, then you better believe I'll be signing up for a whole damn bowl of the only true hangover cure I know of). After that, the options are straight forward and Stan is always there to guide you through the menu if you are afraid of trying new things. Thanh's special is my new go-to dish for any of my friends trying Clay Pot for the first time. It's a sort of Viet-style pad thai and no one has ever had anything bad to say about it. Ever. If you're looking for a very laid back atmosphere with a knowledgeable and friendly waitstaff, and are looking for a change out of the ordinary (often redundant and bland) Waco food options, give Clay Pot a try, you won't be disappointed.
I looked for this place a year ago, and google maps lead me to the wrong side of the road. I didn't visit it until about 3 months back, and now I go every other week or so. I saw past reviews on the internet about frozen veggies, blah presentation and food. Now, I am not seeing that. I have ordered several daily specials and some of the clay pot dishes, and all of them have been good. The owners are friendly, and open to anything critical you may say, and will change it for you if you ask next time.
You know what this place is? Home. A home away from home, complete with the ability to eat on a coffee table with my bum on a pillow. And the Clay Pot staff? Family.
I came here so often that Phong knew my usual, which changed from time to time, but eventually I'd fall back into a rut of ordering something I really, really liked over and over again. He'd usually ask, "The usual?" and I'd stubbornly refuse, only to order my usual anyway once Phong returned to take my order.
This is what I love about the Clay Pot. I've been coming here since Quang was running the restaurant on a daily basis, and no matter which Le is running the show, they always take time to get to know their regulars. This place is Cheers, but with spring rolls and awesome tea.
The food here, of course, isn't all authentic. One of my friends and I dubbed the Pasta Pot the "Gringo Pot" accordingly, because even though Quang could talk at length about Marco Polo came to Vietnam, Italian noodles aren't typically considered Vietnamese cuisine. I still love the Pasta Pot, though. I've hated spaghetti all my life for being boring pasta with no cheese, and the Pasta Pot fixes that. I always got the Shrimp Pasta Pot, which gave me an excuse to lick my fingers after I was done pantsing my seafood.
My favorite "meat" in most of the hot pot and noodle dishes, though, wasn't meat at all--it was tofu. Clay Pot's tofu is squishy and absorbs all the flavors of whatever it's in. Dishes that are a tad salty with chicken or beef, such as the Pho Xao, are fantastic with tofu.
Forget chicken noodle soup when you're sick. The Chicken Curry Clay Pot was my standby, and they can make it hot enough to un-clog cement from your sinuses if you request. Others used the Clay Pot's Pho as a cure for everything. The Pho as a nice herbal flavor to it, almost like hot tea in soup form. Inhale deeply over your bowl and you won't have to bother with that gooey Vicks stuff. I liked the Bun Bo Hue soup more, which is similar to the Pho, but spicier.
I'm actually quite sad that the appetizer sampler platter wasn't around when I was a student! I love the steamed chicken dumplings, which come in a slightly oniony broth and come with a sweet dipping sauce. The wings are a tad different from traditional hot wings, but what isn't at the Clay Pot? They're delicious, anyway. The wings are lightly fried and the sauce comes on the side, more like a dip instead of already being on the wings themselves. The Clay Pot wings are slightly spicy, and the Ly Le wings have an almost sweet and sour-like sauce. Both are tasty.
Several of the dishes are fabulous excuses for grown-ups to play with their food. Order Ca Nuong (fish) or Goi Bo (beef), and you're presented with a couple platters of tasty fillings and several sheets of sticky rice paper for you to assemble your own rolls. This quickly devolves into a giant table full of finger food, and trust me, assembling everything into a tight, manageable package is harder than it looks. Even if your roll disintegrates halfway through you eating it, it's still great fun. If playing with rice paper isn't your thing, the Cha Ca gives you a pot where you can cook your own meat. Heh heh heh...FIRE!
So, the Clay Pot blends together Vietnamese, American and a little bit of everything else to make something unique, and for the most part, it works. The Nancy's Special is a delightfully large bowl full of pho noodles, sweet sauce, fruit and meat, and some of that meat happens to be in the form of meatballs. Whatever. It's delicious.
The tea is tied with Beatnix for my favorite iced tea in Waco. There's free wi-fi as well. If it looks like you're going to be there for a while, the waiter usually leaves a pitcher of tea behind to keep your mug full. I daresay I got more done at Clay Pot than I did in Club Moody, all while eating dinner.
Sometimes the Clay Pot gets very busy, but the staff is usually good at handling the crowds. The quality of dishes can vary a little depending on who's in the kitchen as well. Quang supposedly made the best Imperial Rolls, so if he's in town, you know what to get. I love the Pele Salmon because it's rare to find salmon on the menu in Waco, the plum sauce on top is just sweet enough, and the vaguely creamy Italian-ish sauce over the potatoes is so delicious that I eat--and like--the potatoes. (I usually hate potatoes.) However, sometimes it'd be just a little too done, or the size of the piece of fish would vary just a tad. For some reason, the best Pele Salmon was usually later in the evenings. Oh well. I still love their fish dishes because the Clay Pot staff is "on" more often than "off."
Sometimes the spring rolls can be a little tough at the edge if they've sat for a while, or sometimes they're rolled more tightly than others. I suppose this is a good reason to go on Tuesdays, when the two-for-one Spring Roll special ensures a high turnover of rolls (and that I'll inevitably end up ordering extra rolls myself).
There's no doubt that the staff at the Clay Pot wants everybody to be happy. Back when Quang was still there, you could ask the waiter for a "something" and the kitchen staff would make up something for you to try on the spot. I haven't tried that recently, though, because there's so much other great stuff on the menu. I can't wait to try the Banh Mi and some of the other new dishes the next time I'm in Waco. The meals are ridiculously cheap, and every dinner comes with free iced tea and a spring roll.
Finally, just look at the place. It's a little pink box of happiness, complete with a bunch of cool stuff the Les have collected over the years. Sometimes they would even let music groups perform on the "stage" (the elevated coffee table) in the corner.
There are few people nicer than the family who runs the Clay Pot, and it's a must try for anyone looking for good, cheap eats in Waco.
OK, can I re-review this place?? Over the past few months, Thanh and Phong has been making changes to this place, and I am so excited!
First they got some cool new lights and table decor, but the best change is the food! Some of the same old favorites and some NEW ones!!
They have a new lunch menu and it has Bahn Mi...3 kinds! I tried the pork, and I gotta say it was yummy! The pork was tender and it has shredded carrot, slices of cucumber and sprigs of cilantro, with a sprinkle of a vinegar dressing...so good...and served warm. She also added a new noodle dish with the roast pork and a sauce that I am going back to try real soon!
They have a 'special' of the day now, as well.
Thahn is always open to talking about her dishes and what customers like and don't like about them, and looking to improve them. I like that!
Can I just say that I LOVE this place!? Clay Pot is the restaurant that I go to for my comfort food because I always leave so happy. The chicken dumplings are to die for as is the chicken fried rice. Thanh's special is always good as well. The restaurant itself is cozy and very pink, but it adds to its charm. Although this may not be 'traditional' Vietnamese food, in my opinion it's the best Asian restaurant in Waco. Everyone should at least try this place!
I've been to the Clay Pot as often as any restaurant in Waco, and their Curry Clay Pot is my favorite budget dish in town. Watch out for the "ghost pepper"--ok, it's not real ghost pepper, but it's worth a run for those who like heat.
I love Indian food. Waco needs an Indian food restaurant. Clay Pot is not Indian, BUT they have a fantastic curry pot. Is this the best "Asian" place in Waco? Not at all. It's a weird blend of the whole Asian continent tweaked to cater to college students. I think the dishes they serve are very intersting in their own way, and when I crave curry, this is my only option. Plus, sometimes it's good to sit on the ground on a pillow while you eat. Right?
I'll put it like this.
If people are asking for asian food. this place won't be the first place that comes to mind.
with that being said. If we're just looking for decent food and a pretty cool vibe. Clay pot sure.
Garlic chicken. any of the clay pots are solid go-to's for me. and lots of spring rolls. wash it down with jasmine tea and it's an overall good time.
I absolutely love this place! It's not "authentic" Vietnamese, but it's flippin' good!
The chicken fried rice, Garlic Chicken, and Cha Ca are my favorites (for now).
As other reviewers posted, the Pho is awesome! Great food to help when you've got a cold.
I always feel happier after a delicious, hot meal from Clay Pot!!
P.S. In regards to another post, you don't ONLY sit on the floor, they mostly have tables and chairs, but there are a few low tables with pillows to sit at. Good for some but I prefer a chair.
I frequent this establishment nearly every week. Maybe it is the spring rolls and tea that keep me coming, but you can't beat the 'at home' feeling you get from the owners. My fav dish is the pad thai and chicken fried rice. I will agree that the chicken seems a bit ready made, but given the tiny size of the kitchen, I am guessing that it is a small compromise for other pressing items. I can handle it! (gladly) There is NO place in Waco....and I mean NO place that can top Thanh's fried rice! Like others I did not give it an 'excellent' rating due to the fact that I have never found ANY restaurant that deserves that rating.
Clay Pot is not just a "normal" Vietnamese restaurant, it is a locally owned restaurant where the owner Jay actually cares about your experience. The food is made individually and by order, instead of mass-produced like other restaurants. The pho soup is amazing, the spring rolls are fantastic (and if you go on Tuesday, they're 2 for $0.99), and the fried rice is not tradition fried rice--its better! If it's your first time, I recommend getting something other than the clay pot; that's simply stir fry in a bowl of rice. Don't get me wrong, it's amazing, but there are so much more good food options! Also, the ambience of this restaurant is pretty awesome; you can sit on the floor on big pillows or at a regular table if preferred.
Best fried rice in town. Service can be slow on a busy night, but the atmosphere is unique for sure. I would suggest ordering vegeterian as I am not a fan of their chicken or beef (looks too processed for me.
Clay Pot has become my favorite mid-week restaurant. My wife and I have been going for years to the point that they no longer ask for our order. I think part of the problem is that people new to Clay Pot always order the "clay pot". If you want a tasty dish, get the "Broccoli Spicy Beef"...it has great flavor and has become my favorite. I also enjoy the salmon dish though the salmon is usually cooked a bit more than I prefer, but the asparagus and potato are great.
The best part of Clay Pot is the family that runs it. They are great people, and I really enjoy supporting their local restaurant.