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Mimi's Cafe

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    The website for Mimi’s Café features a recipe that claims to duplicate the buttermilk spice muffins that are so popular at the restaurant chain, but I found the recipe there to be slightly lacking. While the recipe produced very good muffins, I discovered the website formula required more sugar, more nutmeg and the addition of salt to produce muffins that could be considered clones of the popular version baked fresh every day in Mimi’s kitchens. To make this recipe work best use a large (Texas-size) muffin pan and line each cup with large paper muffin cups. You could also make the muffins in a smaller, standard-size muffin pan by reducing the baking times by 5 to 10 minutes, and adding only 1 teaspoon of topping on the batter in each cup rather than the 2 teaspoons described here. 

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.40. Votes: 15

    It's dark, moist and delicious, and it comes in a breadbasket to your table at this French-themed West Coast casual restaurant. Now the tastiest carrot bread ever can be yours to create at home with a couple of grated carrots, molasses, raisins and chopped walnuts. You'll be baking this one in the oven for at least an hour. That should be enough time to warm up the house and send an incredible aroma wafting through every room. 

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    These muffins and the buttermilk spice muffins are the two top-sellers among the several muffins baked every day at the Irvine, California-based chain. If you like the combo of carrots, raisins, and walnuts in a super-moist cake, this is the muffin for you. The real thing is made dark with the addition of caramel coloring which you can find in many supermarkets or in stores which sell cake-decorating supplies. You can choose to skip this ingredient and your muffins will still come out great. They’ll just be a little lighter in color. This recipe is designed for a large muffin pan with 6 large muffin cups, but you can also use a standard-size 12 cup pan. Just reduce the baking time by 5 to 10 minutes.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 5

    Arthur Simms was in the restaurant business for many years before he opened the first Mimi's Cafe with his son, Tom, in Anaheim, California in 1978. Back in the Golden Age of Hollywood Arthur was the guy running things in the MGM Studios commissary where, on any given day, Jean Harlow, Clark Gable and Judy Garland might stop in for a grazing. Arthur named his New Orleans-influenced, bistro-style restaurant after a woman he met and fell in love with in Paris during the war. Today it's Tom who runs the show at this growing 93-unit chain where regulars return for the staple favorites including the French Market Onion SoupCarrot Raisin Bread and the delicious corn chowder, cloned right here.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 10

    When I think back on all the grilled cheese sandwiches I was served as a kid, I don't get very nostalgic. Around my house the recipe was plain and simple: slap some American cheese between a couple slices of white Wonder bread and grill it in a hot skillet until browned on both sides. Good enough grub for a kid I guess, but what if Moms back in the day had a grilled cheese recipe like the one served at Mimi's Cafe? Would my young palate have been able to appreciate the five different cheeses? Would the sourdough bread brushed with soft garlic butter and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese have won over a littler me? I don't know the answers to these questions, but I do know that as an adult this is the best grilled cheese sandwich I've ever had. It's been on Mimi's menu since the first day the restaurant opened back in 1978 in Anaheim, California; and the chain serves around 18,000 of these sandwiches every year—surely to both adults and kids alike. Grab yourself some sliced Swiss, Cheddar, Jack, mozzarella, shredded Parmesan and sourdough bread. This is an easy recipe, so you'll have no trouble quickly cranking out four awesome grilled cheese sandwiches that I'm sure absolutely everyone will love.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.30. Votes: 10

    You might not think that a tough World War II flying ace would open a restaurant called "Mimi's," but that's exactly what happened in the 70s. Arthur J. Simms flew spy missions over France during the war and helped liberate a small French town near Versailles. After the war Arthur ran the commissary at MGM studios in Hollywood, stuffing the bellies of big-time celebs like Judy Garland, Clark Gable and Mickey Rooney. He later joined his son Tom in several restaurant ventures including one called "French Quarter" in West Hollywood. This was the prototype for the French-themed Mimi's Cafe. In 1978, the first Mimi's opened in Anaheim, California. Today there's over 90 Mimi's in the chain with a new one opening every other week; all of them serving this great French onion soup that's topped with not one, not two...three different cheeses. Oui!

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.