Vishee and Jenna Mandahar grew up in Queens, met in junior high and by the age of 17 had developed a passion for — in no particular order — each other, pizza and sandwiches. “All we did all day was eat pizza and sandwiches,” recalled Vishee. “What else was there to do?”
In the ensuing years, there was plenty to do — college, life — but the Mandahars’ trifecta of passions continued to consume them, so much so that the couple — in exact order — married and had a child, opened a pizza and sandwich shop called Krave It in Bayside in 2015, had two more children, opened a second Krave It in Astoria in 2021, had a fourth child and then, just one month ago, opened a third Krave It, Long Island’s first, in Huntington.
The Mandahars’ busy, chaotic life is echoed by the Krave It menu, which boasts 41 different pizzas, 34 sandwiches, nine kinds of fries — you get the idea. Where does the pair get all this energy? Mostly from their growing number of fans. “We have a huge base on Long Island and got a lot of requests to open here,” said Vishee, who partnered with businessman John Romero on this latest venture. “Huntington was calling our name.”
Described variously as "outrageous," "wacky" and "demented," Krave It’s pizzas have been featured everywhere from the Food Network (the Cran-Slam, a Thanksgiving pizza), to the Travel Channel (a pie topped with 16 cheeseburgers and a fried egg), to Thrillist (a “three-course” pizza — beer-battered onion rings and fries surrounded by cheeseburger sliders, with an outer ring of fried Oreos). Most specialty pizzas come in 12- and 18-inch sizes, including the Homer Simpson (meatballs, bacon, glazed doughnuts, $19/$31), Desi Boys (fried chicken strips with tikka masala aioli, $19/$32) and the Don Julio (a taco pizza topped with steak and Cool Ranch Doritos, $23/$35).
“Some people think it’s gimmicky pizza," said Vishee, "I promise you it’s not that.”
Indecisive pizza lovers or those overwhelmed by the options might consider Krave It’s Care Package, a sort of grab-bag pie comprising eight of the shop’s most popular slices ($40). One 18-inch pizza might have a chicken and waffles slice, a General Tso-esque one, a mac ’n cheese number with honey sriracha, etc. My own personal favorite: The white truffle chicken slice that I nearly swallowed whole and have been kraving ever since.
“It starts with fresh pizza dough and breast of chicken cutlet, then we add our own white truffle aioli and homemade mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and parsley,” said Vishee. “It’s simple, it’s light."
Most of the pies have sandwich analogues, although the most popular in Huntington so far have been the Krave It Bomber (thin-sliced steak, “sriracha cheez whiz,” grilled onions and roasted pineapples, $15) and the Angry Nonna (chicken cutlet, marinara, spicy burrata, $15.50).
Said Vishee, “There’s nothing like us out there,”
Krave It Pizza & Sandwich Joint is at 376 New York Ave. in Huntington, 631-546-1445, kraveitny.com. Opening hours are Sunday through Wednesday 11 a.m.-midnight, Thursday 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-2 a.m.