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Sizzler

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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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    Del Johnson and his wife wanted the perfect single-word name for their new restaurant concept. "Something that would merchandise well," said Del. "In the old days, they served steaks on those sizzling platters. In a first class restaurant when you ordered a steak, they'd bring it out, put the butter on that steak and that plate was hot, it was aluminum and it would sizzle when they put it down in front of you. That's how we came up with the name. I knew we wanted to use those sizzling platters."

    Eventually the restaurant would diversify the menu to include items other than sizzling steak. One of those on the menu today is the chicken club sandwich, which you can now easily duplicate at home.

    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.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.