Sunday, April 26, 2015

Judging 10 pizzas that deliver

Pizza by pizza, slice by slice, a look at what they ate.

Judging 10 pizzas that deliver

Our judging panel included chef Michael Schulson (Sampan, The Saint James and Izakaya); writer Rich Pawlak, readers Theresa Porter of Mayfair (who works for the Treasury Department) and Elysia Lichtine of Rittenhouse Square (a former Pennsylvania Ballet dancer who works in communications for a retailer), and producers Gabrielle Bonghi, Jonathan Tannenwald and Josh Mellman.

The judges agreed on the merits of most pies but argued over a couple, notably Celebre's Pizzazz.

Pizzas are listed in order of finish. Here is a sampling of their comments:


Tacconelli's red pie (118 points): "Sweet sauce," "built like a Trenton tomato pie," "great brick-oven flavor," "crispy crust," "reminds me of Manco & Manco's," "it's a bit oily."

Vecchia's red (113): "Mozzarella so fresh like it was made today," "so simple but so perfectly balanced," "a little wet," "I could eat a whole pie."

Vince's red (85): "Bright, garlicky sauce - hangover pizza," "instantly excited my mouth, "dough has great flavor," "heavy slice by weight."

Celebre's red (68): "Closest to a pizza you'd bake at home," "deck oven with lots of parm cheese," "cheese is too burnt - too much parm but not enough sauce."

Pica's red (62): "Bland crust," "dough isn't cooked in the middle," "nothing pops."



Vecchia's white, topped with arugula and prosciutto (115 points): "Aroma was enticing," "tastes like a garden," "magic in your mouth," "a forest of arugula - but the pizza got lost in the forest," "very light - blink an eye and it's gone."

Tacconelli's white (92): "excellent crust from onions and peppers," "thin, blistered crust but garlic city!" "nice seasoning on the crust."

Pica's white (72): "more like an open-faced sandwich," "too cheesy, greasy, heavy," "don't like the tomato slices," "bland."

Vince's white (71): "Flavorless spinach," "not cooked," "love the zesty garlic," "love the toasted parmesan on the crust," "win!"

Celebre's white (52): "Nice, airy crust - fiery hot peppers," "zesty flavor from the seasoning saved it," "cardboard crust," "you could probably hit someone with this and hurt them."

Main story is here.

More coverage taste-test: Our favorite pizzas
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