Dropped in the other night at week-old Tebaya (wing shop), where the main event is wings, naturally. They're good -- seasoned with soy sauce and plenty of black pepper, fried without breading, sprinkled with sesame seeds. There might be a touch of red pepper, too; whatever's in there is nicely balanced. On Saturday night they were slightly overdone, to my taste, but delicious. My wife and I happily put away an order of 11 for $7.
These are Nagoya-style chicken wings, which are apparently well known all over Japan. (Tebayas owner is from Nagoya. Hes a big friendly guy who used to manage Hagi, the basement izakaya on 49th Street.) Compared with popular stateside styles, Tebayas wings are mild and subtle in seasoning, so don't expect a wallop of pepper. I haven't tried Nagoya chicken wings at the source, so I can't say how these stack up. (Kasadela makes them sometimes, but I haven't had them recently.)
Maybe you'll have better luck than we did with the potemochi (three for $1.50). We found these fried potato balls hard and tough on the outside and short on flavor inside. They came with butter and sweetened soy sauce, which didn't do much for us.
Also on the menu: chicken kushikatsu (fried skewers), chicken cutlet sandwiches, teriyaki chicken burgers. Salads are pre-made but reasonably fresh-tasting. We had one with tofu and greens, with a nice ginger-soy dressing. They also make soba salads and a daily soup.
They dont sell alcohol, though youre welcome to bring your own. But that wont make Tebaya feel like a pub, which is the natural setting for this kind of chow. Its a fast-food shop, with counter seating for maybe 10. If I worked around here, Id probably drop in often for lunch. But you may decide takeout is the better option.
144 W. 19th St. (between 6th and 7th Aves.), (212) 924-3335
Open 11:30 to 11 daily