The building used to be a little more than a "shack," according to a regular patron, and the owners have added extra rooms over the years. It reminds me of a story I enjoyed reading as a kid where the guy kept adding rooms to his house, all in one direction, until it was really, really long and it took days to get from one end to the other.
Clay's hasn't done it that way but walking inside is like walking into a maze. I found the post office people because they were the loudest. It's amazing that they could still have that much energy after working outside in the heat!
If you live in or near Houston or you're visiting, Clay's is a nice place for lunch or dinner. It's a family oriented establishment, and they have a petting zoo outside, too. Sometimes the zoo inhabitants even visit the diners. Later in the evening, (we were there a really long time, the post office people talk A LOT!), one of the peacocks from the petting zoo jumped onto the porch, (Clay's outside eating area), trying to escape some rambunctious children.
Visit Clay's website here:
I don't eat a lot of junk so I allow myself to indulge once in a while. I decided on Clay's catfish platter for my meal.
The catfish fillets were very good. I congratulate Clay's on finding the right supplier for these. They were nice and clean inside with no nasty "bloodline." (You know when you see a lot of gray matter in a fillet that it wasn't cleaned well. Lower quality fillets are famous for this. Yes, they're cheaper but who wants to eat that crap? Not me!) The breading was very crisp but it was plain, not spicy. If I had to take an educated guess, I'd say these fillets were not breaded on site. There's nothing wrong with buying pre-breaded fillets for your restaurant, though. Again, as long as they are of good quality.
I have to say that the fillets were the best thing about this catfish platter. The fried okra was average, also pre-breaded, I'm sure. The hush puppies should have spent a few more minutes swimming in the fryer--they weren't cooked all the way through. They were still edible and not so raw that they needed to be sent back, though.
The tartar sauce was nothing to write home about. It is probably not made on the premises. For a busy restaurant like Clay's, I'm sure that purchasing pre-made tartar sauce is much more economical.
And now on to the coleslaw.......*sigh*........ The coleslaw was the most disappointing thing about the catfish platter. It had absolutely NO zing at all. Bland as bland can be. It looked pretty, and there was even the extra added attraction of poppy seeds, but the flavor......nyeh. They need a new recipe or a new supplier. (The coleslaw could have very well been pre-made. I'm not certain about that one.) Don't get me wrong, I tried to like it. I tried to find some saving grace in this coleslaw. It just didn't happen. I couldn't even finish eating it.
All in all, the catfish platter was okay. If you visit Clay's and order it, don't order the coleslaw as a side dish. Get something else that's green if you want to add vegetables to your meal. Maybe a side salad.
I had reports from the postal party people about the hamburgers at Clay's. I was told they are really good. The one complaint that came up about the burgers was the patties. They used to be really thick but Clay's has "down-sized" the patties over the years. Everyone agreed that the flavor is still really good, though. You won't be screaming, "Where's the beef?" if you order a burger there. At least not yet.
Congratulations to my Mom on her retirement! Now she can write a book about what it was like working at the post office. From some of the things I've heard, though, if she does write a book...she may end up with a visit from the Men in Black!! :)
Happy Eating, Everybody! :)