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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 4

    In the 1970's, food conglomerate General Mills expanded its growing restaurant business. A research team was organized to study the market, and to conduct interviews with potential customers on what they want in a restaurant. Seven years later, in 1982, the first Olive Garden restaurant opened its doors in Orlando, Florida. Today it is the number one Italian restaurant chain in the country with over 470 stores.

    One of the all-time favorites at Olive Garden is the Italian salad dressing served on the bottomless house salad that comes with every meal. The dressing was so popular that the chain sells the dressing by the bottle "to go." You won't need to buy a bottle, though. With our Olive Garden Italian salad dressing recipe you can make your own version that tastes just like the original, and it's way cheaper. The secret to thickening this dressing is to use dry pectin, a natural ingredient often used to thicken jams and jellies. Pectin can be found in most stores in the aisle with baking and cooking supplies or near the canning items.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 3.67. Votes: 3

    Menu Description: "An Outback Ab-Original from Russell's Marina Bay."

    If you go to an Outback Steakhouse expecting exotic Aussie prairie food that someone like Crocodile Dundee would have enjoyed, you're gonna be a bit disappointed, mate. Except for a little Australia-themed paraphernalia on the walls, like boomerangs and pictures of kangaroos, the restaurant chain is about as "down under" as McDonald's is Scottish. The three founders, Tim Gannon, Chris Sullivan, and Bob Basham, are all U.S. boys. And the menu, which is about 60 percent beef, contains mainly American fare with cute Australian names like The Melbourne, Jackeroo Chops, and Chicken on the Barbie.

    The founders say they chose the Aussie themes because "Most Australians are fun-loving and gregarious people and very casual people. We thought that's exactly the kind of friendliness and atmosphere we want to have in our restaurants."

    In only six years, Outback Steakhouse has become the number one steakhouse chain—in part because of the Bloomin' Onion: a large, deep-fried onion sliced to look like a flower in bloom that was created by one of the restaurant's founders. What makes the appetizer so appealing besides its flowery appearance is the onion's crispy spiced coating, along with with the delicious dipping sauce, cleverly presented in the center of the onion.

    The restaurant uses a special device to make the slicing process easier, but you can make the incisions with a sharp knife. It just takes a steady hand and a bit of care. This is how they did it in the early days of the chain.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.50. Votes: 4

    Menu Description: "Six colossal shrimp dipped in beer batter, rolled in coconut, deep-fried to a golden brown and served with marmalade sauce."

    The three founders of Outback Steakhouse are an experienced lot of restaurateurs. Tim Gannon, Chris Sullivan, and Bob Basham had each worked for the Steak & Ale chain of restaurants at one time or another, as well as other large casual dining chains. When the three got together to open a few restaurants in the Tampa, Florida area, they had modest ambitions.

    Basham told Food & Beverage magazine, "We figured if we divided up the profits with what we thought we could make out of five or six restaurants, we could have a very nice lifestyle and play a lot of golf." The first six restaurants opened within 13 months. Eight years later the chain had grown to over 300 restaurants, and the three men now have a very, nice lifestyle.

    Coconut Shrimp is a sweet and crispy fried appetizer not found on most other menus, especially with the delicious marmalade sauce. Outback servers claim it's a top seller.

    At the restaurant chain, you get six of these shrimps to serve two as an appetizer, but since we're taking the time to make the batter and use all of that oil, I thought I'd up the yield to a dozen shrimp in this Outback Steakhouse coconut shrimp copycat recipe to serve four as an appetizer. If you don't want to make that many, you can use the same recipe with fewer shrimp and save the leftover batter to make more later or just pitch it.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.50. Votes: 4

    Menu Description: "A unique presentation of an Australian favorite. Reckon!" 

    Here's a great way to start off dinner. The menu claims the Walkabout Soup is an Australian favorite. While that may or may not be true, this creamy onion soup is at least a favorite of Outback Steakhouse regulars. If you can boil water and slice onions, you'll have no problem with this easy-to-make version of the chain's top secret formula.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.85. Votes: 47

    Menu Description: "Grilled chicken breast and bacon smothered in mushrooms, melted Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses, with honey mustard sauce."

    In the late eighties, as the public's concern about eating beef was growing, the restaurant industry saw a big shift toward chicken meals. In the midst of a poultry-crazy country, that last thing you'd expect anyone to do is open a steakhouse. But that's exactly what the gang who founded Outback Steakhouse did. And by the time their restaurant had become the sixth largest dinnerhouse chain in the country, they had proven what many people still want is a big honkin' slab of beef.

    With a menu dominated by beef items, it's nice to find that the restaurant can do great things with chicken meals as well, such as the Alice Springs Chicken. You'll love the mushrooms, bacon, cheese, and honey mustard piled on a chicken breast that's been grilled on the "barbie."

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 2

    Menu Description: “Crispy, fried flour tortillas stuffed with spicy grilled chicken and cheese, served with cool avocado-lime dipping sauce.”

    This Top Secret Recipes version of the best-selling signature appetizer dish from the popular steakhouse chain will produce a serving that’s two-and-a-half times bigger than the plate you get at the restaurant. That makes this recipe the perfect choice for any big game get-together or festive holiday shindig where you've set your sights on becoming the event’s finger food superstar. You can make the wraps early in the day or even the day before and then fry them off at party time, but I would make the avocado-lime dipping sauce as close to serving time as possible since the avocado in the sauce will brown after a couple hours. I found it most convenient to use a Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend which is easy to find in most stores, but if your market doesn’t have the blend simply use ½ cup each of the two shredded cheeses. 

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Menu Description: “Topped with chili, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, jalapenos, tomato and scallions.”

    This giant pile of nachos lives up to its name and these are by far the best nachos I have ever had at any casual chain. The secret is in the stacking of the ingredients. You start with a layer of yellow corn tortilla chips and then spoon on some creamy, slightly spicy nacho cheese. I found that Tostitos makes the perfect cheese for this: Tostitos Salsa Con Queso. More chips go on top, then more cheese, then more chips followed by chili and a shredded cheese blend. Use premade chili that can often be found in the deli section of your grocery store where the soups are sold. After the nachos are baked and the cheese is melted, diced tomato, green onion, sour cream, guacamole and jalapeno slices are added on top, and the party can now erupt. 

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Menu Description: “From Boston Bay, the birthplace of Jamaican Jerk. Salmon rubbed with our signature Jerk spices and seared in a skillet, finished with Jerk BBQ sauce and a side of mango chutney.”

    Perk up your next salmon feast with the sweet-and-spicy flavors of Margaritaville’s jerk seasoning. After duplicating the secret jerk rub, add a little bit of it to either Cattlemen’s Golden Honey barbecue sauce or KC Masterpiece Honey barbecue sauce for the perfect after-baking baste. The chain’s delicious mango chutney is also cloned here so that you get the true Margaritaville Jerk Salmon experience. If you can, make the chutney a couple hours ahead—it seems to get tastier over time. Serve this salmon with some rice and your favorite steamed veggies. 

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    These muffins and the buttermilk spice muffins are the two top-sellers among the several muffins baked every day at the Irvine, California-based chain. If you like the combo of carrots, raisins, and walnuts in a super-moist cake, this is the muffin for you. The real thing is made dark with the addition of caramel coloring which you can find in many supermarkets or in stores which sell cake-decorating supplies. You can choose to skip this ingredient and your muffins will still come out great. They’ll just be a little lighter in color. This recipe is designed for a large muffin pan with 6 large muffin cups, but you can also use a standard-size 12 cup pan. Just reduce the baking time by 5 to 10 minutes.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Menu Description: “Rich layers of chocolate cake, dark chocolate cheesecake and creamy custard mousse.”

    There are four delicious layers in this amazing cake that has been a signature dessert at the Italian chain for years, and assembling your own home clone is not difficult. For the two cheesecake layers in the middle I created a custom “no-bake” recipe since the chocolate cake on the bottom is already baked and we don’t want to keep baking it. The top layer is made by slowly cooking egg, cream, and sugar until thick, then stirring in chocolate chips. White chocolate drizzle is swirled into this fudgy topping, dark chocolate buttercream frosting is added, then mini chocolate chips are pressed all around the side of the cake for a beautiful finishing touch. The cake take a bit of time since each layer needs to set up in the chill box before the next one is added. When it’s all done you’ll have 12 servings of a really great looking dessert that will bring you loads of thanks from every chocoholic in the room.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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