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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 3

    This fast-growing West Coast chain is another popular contender in the home meal replacement biz, which includes Boston Market and Kenny Rogers Roasters. In 1990, shortly after Kenneth Berg sold his mortgage banking business for $125 million, he came across a little two-unit chicken chain in Los Angeles that seemed to attract clientele from an income bracket above that of typical burger chain customers. Kenneth discovered that the chicken served in these stores was not only delicious but also prepared with a secret marinade and baste that allowed the chicken to be cooked in a more health-conscious way—without skin. The owners of the restaurants, brothers Michael and Raymond Badalian, created a marinade of juices and spices that kept the chicken moist and juicy inside. The company claims the chicken is marinated for up to seventy-two hours in this secret concoction and then brushed with a tangy baste when grilling. Just three months later, Kenneth purchased the chain for $2.5 million—ten times what it was earning each year—and expanded into other Western states, growing the restaurant to around forty units strong. That's about the time the company merged with Family Restaurants, the corporation behind the El Torito and Chi-Chi's Mexican food chains.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–2 peices
    Total servings–4
    Calories per serving–195
    Fat per serving–8 g

    Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.50. Votes: 4

    With Southwestern-style dressing, corn, peppers and fresh cilantro, this is a great-tasting clone. Koo Koo Roo's "California Style" flame-broiled and rotisserie chicken meals come with a wide selection of very tasty side dishes, including Tangy Tomato Salad, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Confetti Rice. This cold Santa Fe Pasta salad is one of the favorites on the long list of 24 sides. And here's the TSR hack recipe to help you make a version of your own that tastes as good as the real thing.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–6 ounces
    Total servings–10
    Calories per serving–230
    Fat per serving–5g

    Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur. 

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    Score: 4.44. Votes: 16

    From 1990 to 1993, Little Caesars sales growth ranked in the top five in the restaurant industry, accoring to Nation's Restaurant News Magazine. As of 1993, the company had more than 4,800 outlets raking in $2.3 billion. Business was so good that founder Michael Ilitch was able to purchase the Detroit Red Wings hockey team in 1982, and then the Detroit Tigers in 1992. Ilitch also owns several arenas and theaters, including the Second City comedy theater in Detroit.

    The Crazy Sauce, basically souped up pizza sauce, is usually served with Crazy Bread, for dipping. You can get my Crazy Bread clone here.

    Source: More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur. 

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    Score: 4.08. Votes: 13

    In 1996, McDonald's set out to target more educated taste buds in a massive advertising campaign for its newest burger creation. We watched while Ronald McDonald golfed, danced, and leisurely hung out with real-life grown-up humans, instead of the puffy Mayor McCheese and that bunch of wacko puppets. Supposedly the Arch Deluxe, with the "Adult Taste" would appeal to those dancers and golfers and anyone else with a sophisticated palate. But let's face it, we're not talking Beef Wellington here. The Arch Deluxe was just a hamburger after all, with only a couple of elements that set it apart from the other menu items. The big difference was the creamy brown mustard spread on the sandwich right next to the ketchup. And you were able to order the burger with the optional thick-sliced peppered bacon. But the pitch didn't work out the way Micky D's had hoped. Sales of the Arch Deluxe were disappointing and the Arch Deluxe was soon a Dead Food. Good thing I cloned this burger when I did. 

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.79. Votes: 82

    A big part of the Big Mac's appeal is the tasty "secret" spread slathered onto both decks of the world's most popular double-decker hamburger. So what's so special about this sauce? It's basically just thousand island dressing, right? Pretty much. But this sauce has a bit more sweet pickle relish in it than a typical thousand island salad slather. Also, I found that this clone comes close to the original with the inclusion of French dressing. It's an important ingredient—ketchup just won't do it. That, along with a sweet-and-sour flavor combo from vinegar and sugar, makes this sauce go well on any of your home burger creations, whether they're Big Mac clones or not. If you like this recipe, check out Todd Wilbur's McDonald's Special Burger Sauce.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.67. Votes: 27

    Check out how simple it is to recreate any of the three flavors of McDonald's thick shakes from scratch. Just three ingredients for each clone. Really. And the secret ingredient for the chocolate and strawberry flavors is Nesquik mix. Throw everything in a blender and press a button. And if you want your shake thicker, just put it in the freezer for a while. Ah, creamy, frosty goodness.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.84. Votes: 223

    Here's an updated Olive Garden fettuccine alfredo recipe from Top Secret Restaurant Recipes that includes more grated Parmesan cheese and fresh garlic instead of garlic powder. You'll find this sauce thickens easier and has an improved Olive Garden taste. Just be sure not to crank the heat up too high when simmering the sauce or it could break, resulted in a not-so-creamy, curdled Alfredo. Also check out our copycat Olive Garden toasted ravioli recipe!

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.82. Votes: 301

    Menu Description: "White and red beans, ground beef, tomatoes and pasta in a savory broth."

    It's amazing how many lousy clone recipes for this delicious chili-like soup are floating around. Cooking message boards, and questionable sites that claim to have "actual restaurant recipes" have for years passed off numerous versions that disapoint home chefs. Other formulas leave out major ingredients that you can clearly see in the real thing, like the carrots, or ground beef, or two kinds of beans. Others don't even get the pasta right—it's clearly ditalini pasta, which are short little tubes. If you want the taste of Olive Garden's famous Pasta e Fagioli at home, this may be the only recipe that will live up to a side-by-side taste test. Beware of imitation imitations!

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.56. Votes: 90

    Coffeehouses have replaced many of the old Orange Julius stands, but there's still a nostalgic group of us who long for the frothy juice drinks invented decades ago by Julius Freed. Today Orange Julius has tailored its business to meet the changing demands of its customers by including several varieties of fruit drinks and updated smoothies on its menu. But it's the foamy fruit juice creation developed in the late twenties that made the company famous, and that's what I've cloned here in this Orange Julius copycat recipe, an improved version that's found in the book Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits, & Shakes. The flavor and consistency is better now, plus we use the blender to dissolve the sugar before adding the ice. Use pasteurized egg whites found packaged in your local supermarket or just use egg substitute, which is also made from pasteurized egg whites.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.43. Votes: 30

    Along with your meal at this huge national steakhouse chain, comes a freshly baked loaf of dark, sweet bread, served on its own cutting board with soft whipped butter. One distinctive feature of the bread is its color. How does the bread get so dark? Even though this recipe includes molasses and cocoa, these ingredients alone will not give the bread its dark chocolate brown color. Commercially produced breads that are this dark—such as pumpernickel or dark bran muffins–often contain caramel color, an ingredient used to darken foods. Since your local supermarket will not likely have this mostly commercial ingredient, we'll create the brown coloring from a mixture of three easy-to-find food colorings—red, yellow and blue. If you decide to leave the color out, just add an additional 1 tablespoon of warm water to the recipe. If you have a bread machine, you can use it for kneading the bread (you'll find the order in which to add the ingredients to your machine in "Tidbits"). Then, to finish the bread, divide and roll the dough in cornmeal, and bake.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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