THE ORIGINAL COPYCAT RECIPES WEBSITE

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    Menu Description: "We start with a thin layer of crust, then we lay down down a luscious layer of our six-cheese blend and seal it in with another thin layer of crust. We pile on your favorite Pizza Hut toppings, more cheese and bake it to gooey perfection."

    You might be as surprised as I was to learn that Pizza Hut uses 2.5 percent of all the milk produced in the U.S. every year for the cheese used on the pizzas. We're talking about a lot of pizzas here—1.3 million served every day. The cheese production alone requires a herd of 250,000 dairy cows producing at full capacity 365 days a year.

    Certainly even more overworked cows had to be recruited to produce the additional cheese needed for this gooey new creation. This special pizza is made with two crispy cracker-like crusts that have a hidden layer of six cheeses cooked between them. Because this pizza requires two crusts, Pizza Hut created a dough that does not rise as much as the dough used in their other pizzas. This version has been adapted from a classic recipe for soda crackers. The finished product is the perfect pizza for people who think cheese is good, and more cheese is even better.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Menu Description: "Fresh baked on premises, sliced into eight pieces, brushed with garlic butter, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella and basil, topped with chopped plum tomatoes and herbed olive oil." 

    In 1988, London-born restaurant mogul Robert Ian Earl joined with movie producer Keith Barrish and a gaggle of celebrities including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, and Demi Moore to start a Hollywood-themed restaurant that is on its way to becoming his most successful venture yet. In 1991, a gala star-studded affair in New York City celebrated the opening of the world's first Planet Hollywood.

    But even the coolest theme restaurant won't fly if the food doesn't please. Earl told Nation's Restaurant News, "People don't eat themes—no concept in the world can succeed for long unless it also delivers great food at the right price." Planet Hollywood features a menu of delicious dishes rivaling food from national chains that don't have a theme to lean on.

    The Pizza Bread appetizer comes highly recommended by Planet Hollywood servers. The "bread" is pizza dough, rolled thin, with a light layer of cheese, basil and tomato on top; then it's baked in a pizza oven at the restaurant. Since most of us don't have pizza ovens at home, this recipe has been designed for a conventional gas or electric oven.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    At the time I was writing this book there were two ways you could have your bacon and scallops at Red Lobster: wrapped and broiled, or grilled on a skewer. The former is a smaller portion to be served as an appetizer, while the grilled version is served as a main entree. I've included recipes to clone both versions.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Bill Darden was only 19 when he started his restaurant career in 1939 by opening a 25-seat lunch counter called The Green Frog in Waycross, Georgia. From the start Bill's business was a hopping success. That success helped Bill springboard into other restaurant acquisitions throughout the years including 20 Howard Johnson's restaurants. Then, in 1968, as he reached his mid fifties, Bill took another gamble and opened a seafood restaurant in Lakeland, Florida. When deciding on a name for the new restaurant, someone suggested the name "Red Lobster" since he had great luck in the past with the name "Green Frog." And so it was.

    Here are a couple of great dishes to serve as appetizers or on the side with an entree such as broiled lobster or fish. These recipes include a stuffing that varies in the restaurants only in the type of seafood used—the stuffed shrimp contains crabmeat and the stuffed mushrooms contain lobster meat. If you like, you can use the stuffings interchangeably.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Menu Description: "Breast of chicken basted with BBQ sauce & topped with Cheddar cheese, tomato, fresh avocado, and black beans. Served with Ranch dressing & garlic cheese bread."

    In 1969, Gerald Kingen bought a beat-up 30-year old bar called Red Robin in Seattle across the road from the University of Washington. The pub did a booming business with the college and local crowd, but in 1973 building officials gave their opinion of the bar: either fix it up or shut it down. Jerry not only fixed up the 1200-square-foot building, but also expanded it to three times its old size, and added a kitchen to start making food. Red Robin soon became popular for its wide selection of gourmet burgers in addition to the designer cocktails. Jerry says wanted to create a chain of restaurants that would be recoginized as "the adult McDonald's and poor man's Trader Vic's."

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Gerald Kingen is a man with a mission. In 1985 he sold his successful Red Robin chain of restaurants to Tokyo-based Skylark Co. Ltd. Unhappy with the changes the new owners were implementing, Jerry and a partner purchased a "substantial equity position" of the Irvine, California based Red Robin in March of 1996. Now Jerry is once again at the helm of the company, with a goal of reviving old menu items and living up to the old slogan: "The world's greatest gourmet burger maker & most masterful mixologists."

    A unique signature dessert item is the Mountain High Mudd Pie, which servers claim is one of the most ordered desserts on the menu. Save room for this giant-sized sundae made from chocolate and vanilla ice cream with peanut butter, caramel, and fudge sauce. There are several stages of freezing, so give yourself at least seven hours to allow for these steps. This dessert is big and serves at least a dozen, so it's good for a small party or gathering, or as birthday cake. If there's only a few of you, leftovers can be frozen in a sealed container for several weeks.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 6

    Sandy Beall managed Pizza Huts while a freshman at the University of Tennessee to get out of fraternity house duties. It was just three years later that Sandy's boss at Pizza Hut would favor him with a nice gift: $10,000 to invest in a dream. With that, Sandy and four of his fraternity buddies pitched in to open the first Ruby Tuesday on the university campus in Knoxville, Tennesee, in 1972. Sandy was only 21 at the time.

    Here's a great soup that can be served by the cup or in large bowls as a meal in itself. Along with the potatoes is a little bit of minced celery, some minced onion, and a small amount of grated carrot for color. An additional pinch of cheese, crumbled bacon, and chopped green onion make a tasty garnish just like on the Ruby Tuesday original.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Menu Description: "Chicken breast topped with ham, barbecue sauce, tomatoes, scallions and cheese. Served with fries."

    When the founder of Ruby Tuesday, Sandy Beall, was reviewing some early designs of printed materials for his planned restaurant, he saw that some of the art featured the faces of University of Tennessee students printed in red. At that moment, Sandy knew he wanted to call the eatery "ruby something." Meanwhile, he and the four fraternity friends who joined him in the investment had been listening to lots of Rolling Stones music. One day when Sandy heard "Ruby Tuesday" come on the jukebox, he convinced his partners that they had finally found a name.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Menu Description: "Penne pasta tossed in a spicy Southwestern cheese sauce, topped with grilled chicken, spicy black beans, scallions and more."

    The delicious cheese sauce is easy to make using Velveeta and just a few other ingredients. The chicken is prepared over an open grill, then sliced before laying it over a bed of pasta and cheese sauce. And the black beans and peppers are added to give this dish a decidedly Southwestern taste.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 2

    In 1965, Ruth Fertel, divorced with two kids in their teens, was looking for a better way to support herself in her native New Orleans. Her job as a lab technician wasn't paying enough for her to send the kids to college, so she went to the classifieds to find something better. There she found a steakhouse for sale, and thought that this might be her ticket. She mortgaged her house to raise $18,000 (against the advice of her attorney) and purchased the restaurant, then called Chris Steak House. Ruth sold 35 steaks on opening day—not much for a restaurant that now sells 10,000 a day. The restaurant would eventually become a big hit, and within the first year Ruth was making more than twice her salary at the lab.

    In keeping with the New Orleans flavor of many of the Ruth's Chris dishes, this barbecued shrimp is actually Cajun-style broiled shrimp with a little kick to it.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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