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Sandwiches

Nice work. 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. See if Todd has hacked your favorite sandwiches here. New recipes added every week.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 4

    The Burger Wars have become the biggest food fight since that cafeteria scene from the movie Animal House. The two burger giants, McDonald's and Burger King, have each been cloning the other's top product in the bloody battle for the big burger buck. Burger King stepped up first with the Big King—Burger King's version of McDonald's Big Mac. Yes, it had two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun; although everything was arranged a bit differently, and there's no middle bun in there. Then McDonald's rolled out the Big 'N Tasty, which bore a striking resemblance to Burger King's Whopper, with fresh lettuce, tomato, and onion on top of a huge beef patty. Who's winning this fight by leveraging the popularity of the other company's product? Nobody, really. McDonald's chose to alter its Big 'N Tasty recipe by making it smaller 'n cheaper; then changed the name to BigXtra!, while Burger King limited the sale of the Big King and then took it off the menu. But this food fight is far from over. More recently Burger King tweaked its French fry formula in an unsuccessful attempt to steal away fans of McDonald's winning fried spuds recipe. And McDonald's has added more breakfast sandwiches to compete with Burger King's wide wake up selection. So the war continues. And the battlefield is splattered with ketchup.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Menu Description: "Our spicy sauce tops a tender, fried, marinated chicken breast. Served with a tangy blue cheese dressing."

    When the first Bennigan's opened in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1976, it resembled an Irish pub. The green decor with brass accents, the Irish-style memorabilia hanging on the walls, and the upbeat friendly atmosphere made the establishment extremely popular, especially during St. Patricks Day celebrations. Originally, the restaurant was best known for the bar, which served tasty appetizers and creative drinks, but that has since changed. As the restaurant chain expanded across the county, its menu grew to more than 50 items, making 220-outlet Bennigan's a popular casual dining stop.

    If you're a big buffalo wings fan, as I am, you'll really dig this sandwich that puts the zest flavor of hot wings between two buns. This recent addition to the Bennigan's menu has become a popular pick for the lunch or dinner crowd that likes its food on the spicy side. Feel free to double the recipe, but fry the chicken breasts one at a time.

    Source: "Top Secret Restaurant 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: 3.00. Votes: 2

    Menu Description: "Sliced turkey, avocado, tomato, sprouts, and lettuce with mayonnaise on wheat bread."

    The successful chain of Bennigan's restaurants is owned by Metromedia, one of the largest privately held partnerships in the country. Metromedia ranks second on the list of the country's largest casual dining restaurant companies, just behind Little Caesar's Pizza. Other restaurant chains controlled by Metromedia include Steak and Ale, Montana Steak Company, Ponderosa Steakhouse, and Bonanza Steakhouse chains. Altogether Metromedia owns more than 1500 restaurants that ring up nearly half a billion in revenue each year. 

    It's funny how any sandwich with avocado, sprouts, tomatoes, and lettuce in it winds up with "California" somewhere in the name. This recipe is not exactly a healthier alternative with all the mayonnaise and avocado in there, but if it's low-fat you're looking for, simply substitute a "light" mayonnaise for the regular stuff, ditch the avocado, and you're on your way to the beach.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Menu Description: "Slices of turkey breast with bacon, tomato, lettuce, mayonnaise, stacked on toasted bread. Served with coleslaw."

    When Bob Wian invented the first Big Boy double-decker hamburger in 1937, his restaurant business went through the roof. Soon a slew of imitators hit the market with their own giant-sized burgers: Bun Boy, Brawney Boy, Super Boy, Yumi Boy, Country Boy, Husky Boy, Hi-Boy, Beefy Boy, Lucky Boy, and many other "Boys" across the burger-crazed country. 

    By 1985 the Big Boy statues had become a common sight in front of hundreds of Bob's restaurants around the country. This was also the year the Marriott Corporation, which had purchased Bob's from retiring Bob Wian in 1967, created a national ballot to decide whether the Big Boy character would stay or go. Thousands of voters elected to keep the tubby little tike, but his days were numbered. In 1992, Marriott chose to sell all of the Bob's Big Boys to an investment group. Those mostly West Coast Big Boys were later converted to Coco's or Carrows restaurants, and there the Big Boy went bye-bye. The Elias Brothers, a Michigan-area franchiser for many years, purchased the Big Boy name from Marriott in 1987, and today is the sole Big Boy franchiser worldwide.

    The Club Sandwich is one of Big Boy's signature sandwiches, and remains one of the most popular items on the menu since it was introduced in the mid-70s.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 3

    This fried chicken breast sandwich includes lettuce and tomato, and is slathered with a clone of Carl's tasty ranch dressing. We'll use elements of the Carl's Jr. Bacon Swiss Crispy Chicken Sandwich clone recipe to whip up this variation of the Carl's Jr. crispy chicken sandwiches. Use both of these sandwich hacks to serve up two different sandwich clones for different tastes, with little extra effort.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.89. Votes: 9

    McDonald's huge roll-out of the BigXtra! was another bomb dropped on the battlefield of the burger wars. Burger King took the first shot by introducing the Big King—a pretty good clone of McDonald's signature Big Mac, with a bit more meat. Then Mickey D's fired back with a clone of Burger King's popular Whopper hamburger, with, you guessed it, a bigger beef patty. 20 percent bigger to be exact. That's just under 5 ounces of ground beef, sprinkled with seasoned salt and stacked on a huge sesame seed bun, with the same ingredients as you find piled on the Whopper: lettuce, onion, tomato, ketchup, mayo and pickles. It's very tasty. Especially if you like Whoppers.

    Find more of your favorites recipes from McDonald's here.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.87. Votes: 15

    Menu Description: "A large flour tortilla topped with melted Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses, grilled chipotle chicken, shredded lettuce and pico de gallo. Rolled, sliced and served with a Mexi-ranch dipping sauce."

    Take Applebee's delicious chicken chipotle fajita recipe, roll it up in a large flour tortilla with lettuce, cheeses and fresh pico de gallo and you've got a meal to wrap your hands around. The Mexi-ranch dipping sauce is the perfect creamy compliment for this recipe and you can use what's left over for a dressing on your next salad. The sauce is actually just a kicked-up ranch dressing recipe that includes a small amount of buttermilk in the ingredients list. But if you don't want to buy a whole carton of buttermilk to use just a tablespoon for this recipe, that's okay. Substitute the regular moo juice you've got sitting in the fridge. For the spicy marinade it's best to use ground chipotle pepper (dried smoked red jalapeno) made by McCormick. If you can't find that stuff, cut the amount in half and use cayenne pepper. For the cheeses, many major brands make a cheddar/Jack blend that will work great here if you'd rather not buy the cheeses separately. That's helpful if you're about to tip the limit for the express lane checkout line.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.67. Votes: 3

    Menu Description: "A seasoned, grilled chicken breast topped with Cheddar cheese and a stack of thin crisp onion rings on a sesame seed bun with lettuce, tomato and a sweet hickory spread. Served with a side of BBQ sauce."

    With 1527 restaurants across the country, Denny's is on top as America's largest full-service family restaurant chain. Sure, the chain's famous for its Grand Slam Breakfasts, but Denny's menu is filled with tasty choices for grub way past breakfast time. One such item is this chicken sandwich built with grilled chicken breast, lettuce, tomato, Cheddar cheese, crispy onion rings, and a secret sweet hickory spread. That hickory spread is one of the ingredients that makes this sandwich special so the clone is here, and it requires an ingredient called hickory salt. You can find this blend of salt and hickory flavoring in the spice section from Spice Islands under the name "Old Hickory Smoked Salt." If you can't find that stuff, just substitute with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon hickory liquid smoke flavoring. For even more flavor, Denny's serves the sandwich with a small dish of barbecue sauce that tastes remarkably similar to Bull's-Eye Original, so that's what well use. While homemade crunchy onion rings are the way to go for a true clone, you can certainly shortcut this step by using the canned French's French Fried Onions found in practically every supermarket.

    I've cloned a ton of items from Denny's, see if I hacked your favorites here.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Inside each Rainforest Cafe, customers are immersed in a thunder and lightning storm every twenty minutes. But don't worry, you don't have to bring your umbrella, since the rain only falls over specially designed troughs that recycle the water and ready it for the next down pour.

    This sandwich was introduced in 1998 and uses Rainforest Cafe's delicious balsamic vinaigrette to marinate the mushrooms, making it one of the most delicious portobellos you've ever munched on. For this clone, prepare the vinaigrette and marinate the mushrooms a couple hours before you plan to assemble the sandwich.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving Size–1 Sandwich
    Total Servings–4
    Calories per serving–335
    Fat per serving–11g

    Source: Low-Fat Top Secret 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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