If you're looking for the perfect eggplant parmesan try Yarusso-Bros. Italian Restaurant, a fixture on St. Paul's east-side since 1933. The eggplant is peeled and sliced medium-thick, hand-breaded then pan-fried to order until just tender. It's served golden brown and has just the right amount of crispiness so it crunches when you cut into it. And, of course it's smothered in red sauce with mozzarella cheese melted on top.
Unfortunately, as you can see from the picture, the red sauce looks like it's been poured straight from the can and plopped on top of way too many spaghetti noodles which were by the way, COLD. At least the superb eggplant parmesan more then made up for the rest of the meal. I'm always on the hunt for a reasonable facsimile of this dish so when I find it, I'm usually willing to overlook the other sub-par dishes like the one pictured below. It's not bad and it's not good, just mediocre like a lot of dishes served at your basic red-sauce establishments. But, every once in a while, like the food archaeologist you are, you discover the perfect dish amongst the ruins.