Meet Raj Khan, 36, a Bangladesh-born pizza fanatic. He’s the chef at Crazy Mario’s, a pizza joint that also serves Indian food.
“Pizza is my passion. Pizza is not (just) Italian food anymore, it’s for the common man,” Khan says. “From little babies to old men – everyone likes pizza.”
The restaurant has been open since 2007, serving only Italian food. Then, in October of 2012, Khan started serving Indian food as well. (Crazy Mario’s serves only halal food and serves the only halal pizza in the county.)
The chef’s friends have been pressuring him for years to serve Indian food.
“I wasn’t ready for it. All I know is Italian food and pizza,” says Khan, who attended one semester at Lincoln Culinary to sharpen his skills.
That leads us to the food – if you can picture Italian food with an Indian twist, you’re in the right ballpark (and have a better imagination than I do).
There’s all the traditional Italian food you’d look for from a regular pizza place – garlic knots and mozzarella sticks, but you can also get naan, roti and paratha. You can get chicken nuggets and jalapeño poppers with your samosas, pakoras or gol goppas.
But then he mixes it up. Take the Luxmi Stromboli/calzone option – it’s served with onion, green pepper, green peas with carrots, spinach and paneer. The Tikka Boti Sub ($5.99 for a small) is made with tikka boti, tangy sauce and provolone cheese.
The most unique and best tasting dish I had: Masala Pizza. We had the Tandoori Chicken Delight, made with onions, green peppers, tomato, tandoori chicken and extra cheese ($9.99 for 10-inch).
“I want to bring something new, some twist,” Khan said. Other masala pizzas included a trio kebab with chicken tikka, beef seekh kebab and tandoori chicken, and Luxmi Delight with onion, green pepper, green peas with carrots, paneer, fresh spinach and extra cheese.
As for the name?
“We all want to be crazy sometimes,” Khan says.
Crazy Mario’s Indian Food & Pizza: 4478 10th Ave. (at 10th Avenue and Military Trail), Lake Worth; 561-969-7272; open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.