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Rainforest Cafe

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    Walk inside Steve Schussler's house in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and you’ll think you've stepped into a jungle. Seventeen years of research and seven years of construction went into re-creating a working rain forest inside the doors of his not exactly-humble abode. This is how Steve presented the idea for his theme restaurant chain to potential investors. One of them, Lyle Berman, liked the idea, and helped finance the first Rainforest Cafe in Minneapolis's Mall of American in 1994. 

    The popular chain uses Reggae Beat Seasoning in several of its recipes. In 1998, Rainforest Cafe bottled the spice and now sells it in the gift shops attached to each of the rain forest-themed eateries. Use this jerk-style seasoning blend on chicken, pork and fish.

    Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    No two Rainforest Cafés are the same. While they all include plant-covered walls and ceilings, waterfalls, starry skies, and live birds, you will find many unique features in each of the restaurants. The Las Vegas store includes an aquarium archway under which you must walk to enter the restaurant, and the original store in the Mall of America features a talking banyan tree spouting ecological messages twice a minute.

    The turkey pita sandwich has been on the menu since the first restaurant opened in 1994, and our clone is a great way to use up your leftover Thanksgiving turkey and cranberry sauce. You can use full-fat Caesar dressing for this hack, just like the restaurant uses, and still keep the fat reasonably low. But if you use a tasty lower-fat substitute, you can knock those fat grams down even further.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 sandwich
    Total Servings–4
    Calories per serving–350
    Fat per serving–13g

    Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes 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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    This quartet of chicken sliders made with dinner rolls has been on the theme eatery's menu since the first restaurant opened back in 1994. It was called Tortuga Tidbits back then, but as a restaurant spokesperson explains, "No one knew what a Tortuga Tidbit was...neither did we. So last year we changed the name to make it more descriptive of the menu item."

    For this low-fat conversion, we'll need to use the Top Secret Recipes hack of Rainforest Cafe Reggae Beat spice blend. The recipe is designed to make a rather unusual yield total of three sandwiches, since the dinner rolls come in packages of twelve.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 4-roll sandwich
    Total servings–3
    Calories per serving–768 (Original–863)
    Fat per serving–14g (Original–27g)

    Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.