The very first thing you discover whenever you stroll into Astoria’s brand-new Krave It on thirtieth Avenue is, like, whoa… there are a lot of various sorts of pizza right here, and most of them look demented as hell. There is a pie coated in tater tots, and there is one with crushed up Cool Ranch Doritos throughout it. Macaroni and cheese, plantains, corn, fried hen, mozzarella sticks, hen parm, french fries, garlic knots, even goddamn fried Oreo cookies all make an look on prime of those cheesey concoctions. Plus there’s Krave It is signature “sauce spiral” occurring atop most of those, including to the general bonkers vibe.
Here is the factor although: Vishee and Jenna Mandahar, who opened the primary Krave It in Bayside about six years in the past, aren’t simply trafficking in stoner-food gimmicks. These pizzas are actually good, with even probably the most over-the-top creations made with contemporary, housemade toppings and sauces, and shut consideration paid to the steadiness among the many components. Sure, there’s loads occurring, nevertheless it virtually at all times works. Plus there usually are not too many locations round city the place a single slice of pizza is sufficient to make a whole meal.
Among the many Krave It requirements are the White Truffle Rooster Pizza, the Que Pasa Empanada Pizza, the World Well-known Cheeseburger Pizza, the Homer Simpson Pizza (full with bacon and doughnuts, amongst different issues), and, perhaps my general favourite, the energetic Jabroni with buffalo hen and jalapeño ranch.
And only recently they began providing the Birria Birria Birria Pizza, an infinite double-crusted beast that is filled with well-seasoned beef and coated in an insane quantity of cheese, with a small tub of consommé on the aspect for dipping. There are easier, extra normal varieties of pizzas accessible as nicely. Slice costs vary from $3 for a plain to $6.50 for the extra loaded specialty gadgets.
The unique Krave It truly began as a sandwich store, and although the Mandahars’ pizza tends to get all the eye as of late, there are nonetheless a powerful checklist of subs—greater than 40 general—available on the Astoria location. As you would possibly count on, most of those are additionally overstuffed, heavily-sauced monsters, from The Luger (chopped up steak, mounds of melted cheddar, onion rings, creamy beet horseradish sauce) to the Bambam (pulled pork, root beer BBQ sauce) to the Munchie Insanity (hen cutlet, smoked bacon, french fries, contemporary mozz, gravy) to the Queen Eggplant with ricotta and vodka sauce.
In case you are still hungry, there are additionally a bunch of smothered fries and tater tots on the menu, in addition to Tikka Masala Wings with pistachio and cilantro, and eight completely different salads, all of that are mentioned to be “sufficiently big to eat later.” Tender drinks embrace Jones Soda on faucet and Krave It is personal model of bottled refreshments (the Root Beer was good).
The Mandahars had been each born and raised in Queens, met in center faculty, and are actually married with three children. 5 children, actually, for those who rely the Krave It outlets. The brand new Astoria joint is positioned within the former Queens Consolation area, however after a whole renovation over the winter you’d by no means understand it when you’re right here. The one factor that does appear acquainted is that Krave It seems like a celebration, with a soundtrack of crowd-pleasing hip-hop taking part in simply loud sufficient to get you shifting, and, when the climate is heat, pizza-eaters spilling out by means of the huge open storefront onto the sidewalk and curbside eating areas.
Krave It Astoria is positioned at 36-18 thirtieth Avenue, between thirty sixth and thirty seventh Streets, and is presently open from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 midnight each day (646-927-2999; kraveitny.com)