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Resident Mr. John Jacob of Sunrise at River Road, AZ, has served up delicious dishes in the Tuscan area since 1946, beginning with his restaurant, Club 21 on Miracle Mile, which he opened with his two brothers. He followed in his father’s footsteps who came to the United States through Veracruz in the early 1900s and opened up the Tuscan Public Market.
In 1974, Mr. Jacob sold his interest in it and opened El Parador with his twin sons, Donald and Danny. John contributes the success his family has had in the restaurant industry to excellent customer service. They knew many of their customers by name and even what they usually ordered!
His family is very close and they gather often. Their Lebanese roots always come out during these gatherings in the food that they make. When asked for one of his favorite recipes, Mr. Jacob shared his delicious take on the famous roasted eggplant dip known as “Baba Ghanoush,” which is typically served with sliced pita bread for dipping. Now you, too, can enjoy Mr. Jacob ‘s famous Baba Ghanoush at home following this recipe.
Grill eggplants on a grill covered with heavy duty aluminum foil. Keep eggplants whole and rotate often. This will take about 15 minutes at a medium grill temperature. Continue turning until the skin is browned, dry and can be burnt. When the eggplant is cooked through (it will be soft, but should still retain its shape), slice in half and scoop out the flesh leaving the skin to discard. Mash the eggplant. Mr Jacob preferred NOT to use appliances for this step as his end product is still chunky with bits of eggplant visible. Add garlic, tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix all together and place in a decorative bowl. Serve with quartered pita bread as a dip.