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Welcome. You just found copycat recipes for all of your favorite famous foods! Bestselling author and TV host Todd Wilbur shows you how to easily duplicate the taste of iconic dishes and treats at home. Find all the best restaurant recipes from P..F.Chang's to Tony Roma's here. New recipes added every week.

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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 a birthday cake. If there's only a few of you, leftovers can be frozen in a sealed container for several weeks.

    Check out my hacks for Red Robin's famous burgers and more here.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    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 the Ruby Tuesday's Sonora chicken pasta recipe a decidedly Southwestern taste.

    Check out my other Ruby Tuesday clone recipes here

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    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.

    Try more of my Ruth's Chris copycat recipes here. 

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Menu Description: "Tender steak, lightly breaded and golden fried. Smothered with country milk gravy." 

    Alex Schoenbaum opened the doors to his first restaurant, Parkette, a drive-in in Charleston, West Virginia, in 1947, at the start of a boom in popularity of the classic American drive-in restaurants many of us know only from reruns of Happy Days. Schoenbaum's restaurant did very well and he decided, in 1951, to purchase a Big Boy franchise, the fastest growing chain at the time. In 1953, Parkette changed its name to Shoney's Big Boy.

    Today Shoney's is no longer affiliated with Big Boy, but maintains a menu that features the Southern homestyle favorites that have made it so successful for so long. One of the old-time favorites is the Country Fried Steak smothered in peppered milk gravy. The technique here is to freeze the steaks after they have been breaded with flour. This way the coating won't wash off when the steaks are fried—the same technique the restaurants use.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Menu Description: "Vanilla ice cream between two pieces of devil's food cake. Served with hot fudge, creamy topping and a cherry."

    One of Shoney's signature dessert items is this Hot Fudge Cake, an ice cream fudge cake dessert worshipped by all who taste it. To make construction of this treat simple, the recipe calls for a prepackaged devil's food cake mix found in any supermarket baking aisle. Try to find vanilla ice cream in a box, so that the ice cream can be more easily sliced to fit on the cake. Leftovers can be frozen and served up to several weeks later.

    You've got dessert down, how about Shoney's pot roast, or country fried steak as the main dish?

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    One of the most popular items on the Sizzler menu is the fried shrimp, which is often sold as a belly-stuffing, all-you-can-eat deal.

    Wash those shrimpies down with a specialty cocktail

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Before there was Lone Star, Outback, or Ruth's Chris, a real rancher named Stuart Anderson was serving up huge cuts of delicious prime beef in his Seattle-based restaurant chain. The first Black Angus restaurant opened on April Fool's Day in 1964 and quickly became known for its huge, juicy cuts of prime rib.

    Early on, Stuart Anderson's Black Angus served a signature bread dubbed "Ranch Bread" free with each meal. Around five years ago that evolved into Cheesy Garlic Bread, which is no longer free, but it is still a delicious and often requested side for any meal. Try to find a large loaf of French or Italian bread for this recipe. The recipe works with just about any type of bread loaf, but to make it more like the original, bigger is better.

    Now, for your entree..how about a big 'ole juicy Whiskey Pepper Steak?

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Menu Description: "U.S.D.A. choice top sirloin, fire-grilled to your liking then doused with a whiskey pepper sauce."

    When the number of Black Angus restaurants had reached 117 by the early eighties, the Marriott Corporation bought the chain from owner Stuart Anderson. These days Stuart relaxes at his home on Whidby Island off the coast of Washington State, and spends his winters at his home in warm Palm Springs, California.

    Here is an easy recipe for sirloin pepper steak with a tasty whiskey sauce inspired by the popular dish served at Black Angus. Black Angus chefs were no doubt inspired by the classic French dish steak au poivre in which the meat is covered with coarsely ground black pepper before being sauteed or broiled. Brandy or cognac is used  in the restaurant to get the steak flaming for an flashy presentation.

    You won't be required to set your steak on fire in this version. Though you will find that flavorful sauce goes well with other cuts of steak besides the top sirloin called for here.

    You've got the entree covered. Now on to the side dish. Check out more of my clone recipes here.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Menu Description: "Refried beans, cheddar cheese, guacamole, black olives, seasoned sour cream, green onions, tomatoes and cilantro. Served with tortilla chips and fresh salsa."

    When the first T.G.I. Friday's opened in New York City in 1965 as a meeting place for single adults, Newsweek and The Saturday Evening Post reported that it was the beginning of the "singles age." Today the restaurant's customers have matured, many are married, and they bring their children with them to the more than 300 Friday's across the country and around the world.

    The Nine-Layer Dip is an often requested appetizer on the T.G.I. Friday's menu. This dish will serve half a dozen people easily, so it's perfect for a small gathering. Don't worry if there's only a couple of you—leftovers can be refrigerated for a day or two. 

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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I'm Todd Wilbur,
Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

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