Judging 10 pizzas that deliver

Michael Schulson talks about the pizzas during the Philly.com Pizza Taste Test. (Stephanie Aaronson / Philly.com)

Our judging panel included chef Michael Schulson (Sampan, The Saint James and Izakaya); writer Rich Pawlak, Philly.com 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 Philly.com 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."

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