The Clay Pit

Different people have different ideas about AYCE, or “All You Can Eat” places. Some see it as a wonderland of culinary choices, while others shrink at the fact of mass produced, straight from the can/box fare. Most of us hear “buffet” and our thoughts go to pizza, Asian food, or American comfort food. There is one buffet in town that I love to visit, and that’s my go to Indian Food place, The Clay Pit. Let’s loosen those belts and take a look.

The Clay Pit is located on 1813 Memorial Blvd in Murfreesboro, TN.  10 years have passed since they opened here in Murfreesboro, but they have been perfecting their craft for 25 years using methods and recipes centuries old. The Clay Pit offers not just a buffet, but dinner service, to-go ordering (with an online option), and catering. In fact, the first time The Missus and I had the pleasure of enjoying this wonderful food, it was from a deliver we made online. Yes, they even deliver. We’ve been hooked ever since.

First Impression:

The location is easy enough to find and seen from the road, but traffic in this area can be heavy at times so plan your visit during non-peak traffic times if you want easier entry to the parking area. The building appears small at first glance, but that’s because it is not very wide but is quite long on the inside.  It shares a front parking lot with a Little Ceaser’s so that might seem a problem but if you run out of spaces there is a large parking lot in

the rear, and access to the interior from that end of the building. The décor is flavorful, and more detailed than the exterior would suggest. Ample booths and tables line one side of the restaurant while the buffet line occupies the other. A quick, friendly greeting was offered when we arrived and drinks and choice of bread taken. You are immediately made to feel relaxed and at home.

Atmosphere:

I can’t say if the décor and flavor of the room is authentic or not, I simply don’t know. However, it is simple but nice and a large mural caught my attention that I was impressed with. The setting was nicer than most, but not quite elegant. Sometimes a very fancy setting can feel like too much, and in this case the feel of the room fit the mood. Relaxed but polished.

Service:

As with most buffets, drink filling and plate clearing takes up most of the server duties. That doesn’t mean that it can’t be done in a friendly, professional manner and Clay Pit brings that home. Friendly, genuine, and prompt were the hallmarks of this visit’s service.

Food: 

There was a small salad bar set up, but I was starving when we walked in the door, so I skipped right over it. There weren’t a lot of options here, but what was there looked fresh and tasty.

Curry beef, chili chicken, rice, roasted chicken wings, rice pudding and more were available. I sampled a bit of everything, even the things I had no idea what they were. Everything was hot, fresh, and delicious. 

Cleanliness:

When it comes to buffet lines, one of the things I hate to see is a messy surface on it. Dripped food and sauces, food on the floor that was dropped, smeared glass or any number of other detractions. I worked for Morrison’s Cafeteria when I was…younger…and one of the jobs I had there was a “line runner”. It was my job to keep the food line fresh, clean, and appealing. I took it very seriously. So, its something I look for. I’m pleased to say Clay Pit holds these same virtues to heart. The food line was very clean, which showed in the rest of the place as well.

Final Thoughts:

There are others who know their way around the ins and outs of Indian food much better than me. My introduction to Indian food is relatively recent and as you might imagine, the places that I frequent more than a few times a month is a very, very short list. So…from the view of a novice patron of Indian food this place is great. Everything I have ever tried has been delicious, the staff always friendly, great cleanliness, and even the delivery we have gotten was prompt and friendly. If you are new to Indian food like me, this is a good place to come try the buffet and sample many different things to find out what you like. If you are a veteran of such food, then I can only imagine The Clay Pit would be ideal for indulging well-honed tastes. Give them a try, I think you’ll be glad you did.

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