Best Gjerde: Charlie Gjerde

Sure, Spike Gjerde won a James Beard award this year and gets plenty of attention from the culinary world for his devotion to local ingredients at Woodberry Kitchen, but he also was sued this year by former pastry chefs for alleged unpaid wages, and his Shoo-Fly diner in Belvedere Square Market closed earlier this year (see Best You Told Us So, page 106). His younger brother Charlie might not be raking in the same attention from the national culinary scene, but he has been successfully running Alexander’s Tavern since 2007 (the same year Woodberry Kitchen opened), opened Papi’s Taco Joint in Fells Point in 2014, and recently took over the burned-out McCabe’s location in Hampden to repair and renovate the space back into a casual tavern. Forget the rustic twee of Woodberry and Artifact Coffee (Spike Gjerde’s cafe in Hampden), we’ll go for the Gjerde with the casual fare—and without the wage theft allegations.

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