By: SCOTT CHERRY
Tribune Food Editor
While Abdul Alhlou was earning business degrees at Oklahoma universities, he helped to finance his education by working for eight years at Jamil’s Restaurant in Tulsa.
The Combination of those experiences Alhlou to open a restaurant, the Silver Flame in 1987.
“While worked at Jamil’s. I learned to cook, and I learned Tulsans like good steaks and food like tabouli and tahini.” Said Alhlou. “I wanted to create similar dishes, but with more of a taste like I knew back home.”
Back home for Alhlou was Damascus, Syria, where he was horn in 1955. He came to the United States in 1979.
In the next seven years. He earned degrees in computer science and business administration at the University of Tulsa and a master of business administration degree at Northeastern State University.
Alhlou began work on a doctorate in finance and economics at Oklahoma State University before he decided the restaurant business was made to order for him.
He and a former partner opened the Silver Flame restaurant at 6526-A E. 51st St. in the Farm shopping center.
The menu and recipes have changed little in five years, he said.
“The tabouli recipe, for instance, is one I haven’t changed since I opened” the restaurant, said Alhlou.
“The name of the game is consistency. I believe if people eat a dish once somewhere, they expect it to taste the same the next time they go back.”
AlhIou said he has been a U.S citizen for five years. His parents live in Tulsa for part of the year and in Syria for the remainder. He has two sisters in Syria who “may get their first United States visit next year.”
He said he was not overly worried about his family during the Persian Gulf War last year “because Syria was allied with the United States, and I was able to talk to my sisters frequently.”
He is married To a Syrian. Abeer (“People call but Abby”), and they have two daughters, Hoda, 2, and Noor, 9 months.
Although Alhlou proud his culinary creations. He said he finds the best Syrian food in his home.
“My wife fixes the best food of anyone I know, “He said.
1 Cup bulgur (cracked wheat)
2 Quarts parsley, chopped
1 Quart tomatoes, chopped
1 Bunch green onion, chopped
1 Green pepper, chopped
Salt to taste
1 Cup lemon juice
1 Cup olive oil
1 teaspoon dried mint
Soak bulgur in water 30 minutes; drain. Combine parsley, tomatoes, green onion and pepper with bulgur. Add salt to taste.
Mix lemon juice and olive oil and blend with dried mint into parsley mixture, Chill Serves 8-10.