Dining With Denise Neil

Can we talk about baba ghanoush?

As often happens when one ventures over to hang out with Brett and Tracy and Kathy D. at B-98, my morning had a bit of a Twilight Zone feel to it.

I’d called Kathy to ask if I could come on the air to promote Monday’s On the Town with Carrie and Denise and Tuesday’s Wichita Eagle Holiday Open House. Kathy, the producer, said okay, but you’d better bring some baba ghanoush.

I thought this was an odd request, considering that she asked me to arrive at 8:30 a.m. So I decided she was joking.

She wasn’t.

Apparently, she and Brett stumbled across a goofy, online pronunciation of baba ghanoush and have been obsessed with the words ever since. They really, truly expected me to bring some.

Shamed, I went to the only place I knew would be selling baba ghanoush before 9 a.m. on a Friday morning: Green Acres Deli. The lady who checked me out said, “Have you been listening to B-98? Every other word is baba ghanoush.”

Tell me about it.

When I quizzed Brett about his baba obsession, he admitted he’d never even tried it. For those who don’t know, baba ghanoush is the best use of eggplant I’ve ever tasted. A Mediterranean dip, it’s made out of a mixture of mashed eggplant, herbs and fresh lemon juice. Some of the best in town, in my opinion, is served locally at Zaytun and at  N&J Cafe, but several other Mediterranean restaurants do it well, too.

Joking aside, who else out there loves baba ghanoush? Where have you found some you love?