My husband and I get around. No, not that way, I mean geographically! Weekends are often spent just road tripping through areas we've not explored before. About 2 years ago we found ourselves in Stayton, and in search of some lunch.
Yeah, we were kinda scared, too.
We didn't have much hope, but amidst a few chains and local watering holes, we found a local teriyaki joint: Mashita Teriyaki. (No hatin' meant to Stayton; it's just a small town without the population and diversity to support a thriving local dining scene... just like thousands of other towns like it.)
We've gone a handful of times in the past few years; we even have road tripped there specifically for their grub when a craving arose for some pavement and some lunch. The locale is quirky -- it used to be a petrol/service station.
Stepping inside there's a reasonably cute and clean place with a bright order counter, menu board and a view into the kitchen where you can watch as veggies are chopped and stored for the day's use.
There are a lot of rough edges, such as a derelict stop and shop fridge unit along the back wall, and a bathroom that was clearly cobbled together from leftover pieces and parts. But you gotta appreciate a "do it yourself" aesthetic sometimes.
What kept us going back to Mashita was the mounds of great food for cheap. Rice, teriyaki chicken, vegetables, gyoza, all the usual goodies you'd expect. We'd tried some of their variations, and always found heaps of yummy food, served with a smile by staff that are efficient and pleasant (but not exactly friendly, a bit stand offish).
I admit, though, at this last visit that things had taken a turn. What was cute and quirky is showing its age through wear and tear. Things were clean enough, but more attention needs to be paid to upkeep (there's a broken window, for instance). The serving sizes were a bit smaller, but still a good value. But the teriyaki chicken I had was tough and over-marinated. Scot's hot and spicy tofu was pretty good, but the chicken was really disappointing -- especially considering before it had always been plump, flavorful and fresh.
They continue to do a brisk business so they're doing something right. If we are through that way we'll drop by again.
My favorite area teriyaki remains Toki Teriyaki in Albany. Yuuuuuuuuuuuuum. More on that, later!