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T.G.I. Friday's

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    Score: 4.67. Votes: 6

    Menu Description: "Loaded with cheddar cheese and bacon. Served with sour cream and chives."

    Perfume salesman Alan Stillman was a single guy in New York City in 1965, looking for a way to meet women who lived in his neighborhood. He figured out a way to get their attention: buy a broken-down beer joint in the area, jazz it up, an call it "The T.G.I.F." to attract the career crowd. Within a week, police had barricaded the area to control crowds flocking to Alan's new restaurant. The restaurant made $1 million in its first year—a lot of dough back then. Soon restaurateurs across the country were imitating the concept.

    In 1974 T.G.I. Friday's invented an appetizer that would also be copied by many in the following years. Potato skins are still the most popular item on the T.G.I. Friday's menu, with nearly 4 million orders served every year. The recipe has the added benefit of providing you with leftover baked potato ready for mashing.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 9

    Menu Description: "Crunchy and crisp battered green beans with a cool creamy Cucumber-Wasabi Ranch dip."

    T.G.I. Friday's new finger food offering might just make you forget about French fries. At least for a little while. Flavorful green beans are coated with tasty breadcrumbs, then fried to a golden brown, and served with a side of creamy wasabi dipping sauce. This item has quickly become the top seller on the chain's new appetizer menu as Friday's becomes the first major casual restaurant to introduce a dish that has been popular for several years at upscale chains.

     

    Creating a home version isn't just a matter of breading and frying fresh green beans. My first attempts using a breading technique employed for perfect onion rings produced beautiful looking fried beans, but they were undercooked and had an overwhelming green bean flavor that was absent from the Friday's version. So, I had to figure out a good way to get the green bean-ness out of there. After a few tests that included steaming, baking, and boiling, I finally settled on blanching the beans in a flavorful broth. The secret technique, which you'll find here, tenderizes the beans while injecting pleasant flavor that closely resembles the Friday's favorite.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.00. Votes: 2

    Menu Description: "Irresistible, creamy cheeses and elbow noodles golden fried to perfection."

    When T.G.I. Friday's vice president of research and development Phil Costner was in Las Vegas at Fix restaurant in the Bellagio in 2006, he tried a version of this fantastic finger food and immediately went to work locating a supplier to develop the dish for his chain of 550 restaurants. Now Fried Mac & Cheese is one of seven "radically new" finger foods on Friday's appetizer menu that includes Crispy Green Bean Fries, Potato Skinny Dippers and Triple Meat Fundido. After several hours in the underground lab I decided on a couple ways to approach this particular clone. Since Friday's Fried Mac & Cheese is made with a blend of cheeses, I'll first show you how to re-create the mac & cheese from scratch using Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses. And for those of you who love shortcuts, head on down to the Tidbits at the bottom of the recipe and I'll show you how to clone the appetizer much faster using frozen Stouffer's Macaroni & Cheese.
     
    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 4

    Menu Description: "Sliced Portobello mushrooms between layers of Provolone & Monterey Jack cheeses, roasted onions and tomatoes on grilled, buttery bread."

    Contestants on the November 1, 2006 episode of Top Chef on Bravo were challenged to take a childhood favorite dish and update it with a twist. Friday's Senior Executive Chef Stephen Bulgarelli sat at the judges table and endured a bizarre wonderland mushroom plate, a sloppy cheese steak sandwich, and an over-salted surf and turf tragedy. Finally, it was the delicious variation on a grilled cheese sandwich created by Betty Fraser that took the top spot. As a reward, Betty's sandwich was added to over 500 Friday's menus across the country, and now we have a Top Secret clone to easily recreate the tasty winner at home. Friday's modified Betty's recipe to make it easier to prepare in the quick-service environment of the restaurant, and that's the version I've cloned for you here.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.60. Votes: 5

    Celebrate life with clones for two of Friday's delicious new martinis: the super tasty Pomegranate Martini features Pama, the first pomegranate liqueur, and the Candy Apple Martini that tastes like a liquid caramel apple—really good stuff. As with any properly prepared martini, be sure to chill each glass by filling it with ice before making the drink, and shake everything up with much fury and enthusiasm before pouring.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 13

    Menu Description: "Marinated chicken breast topped with fiery Kung Pow sauce, mandarin oranges and pineapple pico de gallo."

    This Friday's low-fat creation does not skimp on flavor. A marinade, a spicy sauce, and a fresh salsa all pitch in for some big-time taste bud satisfaction. Sprinkle mandarin orange sections over the top if you've got em, and you will completely re-create the look and taste of this healthy entree clone.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.00. Votes: 1

    Friday's gave its selection of ice cream cocktails the spiffy name "Blender Blasters," otherwise known as milk shakes with an attitude. Shock 'em all with this one when amaretto pitches in to help re-create the taste of a real strawberry shortcake.

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

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