Submitted By Crystal Chan-Long, March 4, 2017-4:44 pm
It’s no secret that New York City is well-known for its pizza (and bagels, but that’s a different story). Classically hand-tossed and thin-crusted, Gotham-style pizza is indeed a slice of ooey-gooey heaven. Cheesy, soft yet crispy, satisfying, and always eaten while folded in half with one hand, this popular Big Apple favorite is, perhaps, the most similar to the original Italian version of pizza.
But as a New Yorker, I sometimes find it hard to distinguish a truly outstanding piece of pie among a sea of equally strong competitors in the pizza arena. That is, until Krave It Sandwich Shop & Eatery came along.
Situated on the busy Bell Boulevard in Bayside, NY, Krave it was founded by restaurant entrepreneur Vishee Mandahar in 2015. He and his wife Jenna started the establishment with one mission and one mission only: to serve up nothing but comfort food. Offering up a unique selection of pizzas and sandwiches, the diverse menu is exceptionally inventive—ranging from the Homer Simpson Pizza, made with meatballs, glazed doughnuts, bacon, cheese, and maple syrup, to the spicy Mr. Blvd sandwich: a mouthwatering combo of fried chicken cutlet, jalapenos, made-in-house fresh mozzarella and honey sriracha. Plus, much is homemade … a remarkable feat for a small restaurant in Queens.
Another feat: Upon walking in, you will get a sense of ease and just an overall feeling of “coolness”—in part owing to the huge colorful wall mural and decorations that include assorted sports and pop culture memorabilia. Combine that with a vibrant, youthful vibe that mixes in retro touches, and you’ve got quite a relaxed atmosphere.
This laid-back sensibility continues with the row of plush dark leather couches that you can sit in, as well as options such as the Papi Chulo hero, one of the many choices written in chalk on the blackboard menu. Juxtaposing well-cooked grilled chicken with creamy avocado and spicy chipotle sauce, along with cilantro and black beans, the sandwich showcases a variety of textures and flavors. In a similar vein is the Chico Suave wrap (you get a choice as to what “vehicle” you want your ingredients in), which supplies juicy strips of steak marinated with the house’s unique mixture of Mexican spices, plus an ancho-chili mayo offering a nice kick, as well as avocado and sour cream. More possibilities: Tikka Masala Wings … they’re crispy, juicy and loaded with flavor. Appetizing? You betcha. There’s a lot of good stuff here.
The pizzas are also done right. Krave It’s Mac Tastic—a pie crowned with a four-cheese macaroni and cheese topping and drizzled with chipotle sauce and cilantro—has the correct amount of smoothness and heat. Then there’s the Krave It FCW pizza, one of its signature pies topped with fried chicken and waffles. Yes, you heard that right: The FCW pizza is adorned with homemade waffles, deep fried chicken and cheddar cheese, dressed with maple syrup. Surprisingly, the combo of fluffy cooked dough, succulent poultry and sweet syrup works, as does the fried Oreos pizza, which is highlighted by those crispy-outside-yet-soft-inside bits of cookie goodness … the whole is sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Yeah. You might just have to be pushed home in a wheelbarrow.
The guys at this little sandwich and pizza joint make Krave It a truly outstanding member of the Bayside foodscape. Everything here is done with so much care and thought, and the effort really pays off—the restaurant genuinely stands out among NYC’s wealth of local eateries. And that’s something of an achievement in this amazing town.
Then again, it’s no secret that the residents of Fun City do like high quality. I’m a testament to that.
So are you, dear readers. So are you.
Photos by Crystal Chan-Long