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    Not only does the restaurant still serve some of the tastiest cocktails and mixed drinks, but T.G.I. Friday's also has one of the best selections of custom non-alcoholic drinks in the business. The smoothies and shakes at Friday's are all excellent, as are the designer sodas called "Flings." These are hand-mixed soda beverages made in a fashion reminiscent of old-time soda fountains. Juices and sweeteners are mixed with cold soda water and served over ice—you can't go wrong with one of these. The Fling cloned here uses cranberry juice, apple juice, simple syrup, and sweet-and-sour mix.

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

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    Score: 4.00. Votes: 1

    Menu Description: "Full-flavored jalapenos stuffed with cool cream cheese and deep-fried in a cracker-crumb coating. Served with sweet jalapeno jelly & sour cream."

    Red Robin was one of the first restaurant chains to serve No-Fire Peppers, an item which can be found on many restaurant menus today under a variety of different names. The cream cheese-filled, battered and fried jalapeno peppers are called "Poppers" by their creators at Anchor Foods, a restaurant food supply company which manufactures Poppers and a variety of other appetizers for sale to restaurant chains everywhere. According to Restaurant and Institutions magazine, Poppers were the #1 food item added to restaurant menus in 1995, with restaurants purchasing over 700 million of the little suckers.

    It's important when you make these that you allow time for them to freeze. The freezing stage in this Red Robin jalapeno coins recipe ensures that the breading stays on when the peppers are fried and prevents the cream cheese from oozing out too soon.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.43. Votes: 7

    In Los Angeles in 1957, Del Johnson noticed an article in the Wall Street Journal about a successful $1.09 per steak steakhouse chain with locations in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Inspired by the article, Del decided to open his own steakhouse in L.A., but with a twist that would save him money. His idea was to develop a steakhouse where customers would order their food at a food counter and pick it up when it was ready. Doesn't sound that exciting, but the concept was a hit. After the first Sizzler was open for a year, Del decided to run a two-day, one-cent anniversary sale: buy one steak at the regular price and get a second for just a penny. Del said, "We opened at 11:00. People were lined up from 11:00 until 9:00 at night, and we sold 1,050 steaks in one day and about 1,200 the second day."

    With every meal, Sizzler serves a slice of tasty cheese toast. It's a simple hack recipe that goes well with just about any entree.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 3

    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.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Menu Description: "A huge, savory 16 oz. bone-in U.S.D.A choice steak prepared with a smoky marinade and fire-grilled. Smothered with sauteed mushrooms, roasted red peppers and real smoked bacon."

    "Come in for dinner and I'll do the dishes," Stuart Anderson used to promise in television ads. Stuart had a down-home appeal that worked wonders for his chain. Stuart was a rancher who raised a small number of cattle, Clydesdales, and sheep for many years, and was known for his casual, laid-back approach to just about everything. When he opened the first restaurant he built it on a "ranch-to-restaurant" philosophy, meaning that he could supply the fresh beef from his own small ranch, or at least imply that was the case. But as the dinner house's popularity exploded over the years, larger suppliers had to help supply the beef to the growing chain. Still, the fable lived on, and it worked very well for the restaurant. Even with more than one hundred stores in the chain, customers continued to believe they were getting home-grown steaks picked by Stuart himself.

    Now you can hand pick your own T-bone steaks when you make this hack recipe for steak in a smoky marinade that clones the Stuart Anderson's Black Angus favorite. The recipe here is for T-bone steaks, but you can use the marinade and topping on any cut of beef. If you can, plan on marinating the steaks overnight for the best flavor.

    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.

    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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    Menu Description: "Chargrilled all-white meat turkey burger, served on a toasted whole wheat bun with lettuce, tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, onions and avocado."

    Noting the success of the first T.G.I. Friday's in New York City, a group of fun-loving Dallas businessmen opened the first franchise store. The investors decorated their Dallas T.G.I. Friday's with antiques and collectibles gathered from around the countryside—now all of the Friday's are decorated that way. Six months after the opening of the Dallas location, waiters and waitresses began doing skits and riding bicycles and roller skates around the restaurant. That's also when the now defunct tradition of ringing in every Friday evolved. Thursday night at midnight was like a New Year's Eve party at T.G.I. Friday's, with champagne, confetti, noisemakers, and a guy jumping around in a gorilla suit.

    Here's a favorite of burger lovers who don't care where the beef is. It's an alternative to America's most popular food with turkey instead of beef, plus some alfalfa sprouts and avocado to give it a "California" twist.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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