Surely when Dave Thomas opened his first Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers restaurant in 1969, and named it after his daughter, he never imagined the tremendous success and growth his hamburger chain would achieve. In 1989 Dave starred in a series of television ads that boosted Wendy's customer awareness level to the highest levels since its famous "Where's the beef?" campaign.
In the same year, Wendy's introduced the Super Value Menu, a selection of items all priced under a buck. The Junior Bacon Cheeseburger was added to the selection of inexpensive items and quickly became a hit.
Source: More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.
- 1 plain hamburger bun
- 1/3 pound ground beef
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1 slice American cheese
- 2 strips cooked bacon
- 1 iceberg lettuce leaf
- 1 tomato slice
1. Brown the faces of the bun in a saute pan or griddle over medium heat. Keep the pan hot.
2. Form the ground beef into a square patty approximately 4x4 inches.
3. Cook the patty in the pan for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until done. Salt each side during the cooking.
4. Spread the mayonnaise on the top bun.
5. Place the patty on the bottom bun. On top, stack the cheese, bacon (side-by-side), lettuce leaf and tomato slice, in that order. Top it off with the top bun.
Makes 1 burger.
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For 25 years Fuddruckers has been serving huge, cooked-when-ordered beef patties on freshly baked buns. You decorate your hamburger creation with sliced tomato, onions, lettuce, pickles, peppers, relish and whatever else is offered at the toppings bar. Everyone builds their burger differently, yet the company claims these are "The Worlds Greatest Hamburgers." What makes them so good? Fuddruckers boasts that it uses only 100% USDA choice, aged ground beef.
What Fuddruckers won't tell you is which secret ingredients make up the delicious burger seasoning used on each of those patties. After analyzing a sample of the blend used in the shakers back by the griddle, I've come up with this simple Fuddruckers Hamburger Seasoning recipe which you can now mix up at home, and pour into an empty shaker bottle. Sprinkle it onto 1/3- or 1/2-pound ground beef patties just before they cook, then grab some fresh buns in the bakery section of your store. Add your choice of other fresh toppings, and you'll soon have a hamburger clone that tastes just like those served at the more than 230 Fuddruckers.
Wash down that tasty burger with my recipe for In-N-Out Burger Vanilla Shake.
Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.
Menu Description: "Our famous Original cheesecake recipe! Creamy and light, baked in a graham cracker crust. Our most popular cheesecake!"
Oscar and Evelyn Overton's wholesale cheesecake company was successful quickly after it first started selling creamy cheesecakes like this clone to restaurant chains in the early 1970's. When some restaurants balked at the prices the company was charging for high-end desserts, Oscar and Evelyn's son David decided it was time to open his own restaurant, offering a wide variety of quality meal choices in huge portions, and, of course, the famous cheesecakes for dessert. Today the chain has over 87 stores across the country, and consistently ranks number one on the list of highest grossing single stores for a U.S. restaurant chain.
Baking your cheesecakes in a water bath is part of the secret to producing beautiful cheesecakes at home with a texture similar to those sold in the restaurant. The water surrounds your cheesecake to keep it moist as it cooks, and the moisture helps prevent ugly cracking. You'll start the oven very hot for just a short time, then crank it down to finish. I also suggest lining your cheesecake pan with parchment paper to help get the thing out of the pan when it's done without a hassle.
This recipe is so easy, even a 2-year old can make it. Check out the video.
Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.
Southern California—the birthplace of famous hamburgers from McDonalds, Carls Jr. and In-n-Out Burger—is home to another thriving burger chain that opened its first store in 1952. Lovie Yancey thought up the perfect name for the 1/3 pound burgers she sold at her Los Angeles burger joint: Fatburger. Now with over 41 units in California, Nevada, and moving into Washington and Arizona, Fatburger has become the food critic's favorite, winning "best burger in town" honors with regularity.
The seasoned salt used on the beef patty is the secret here. (Hint: It's just Lawry's). And there's no ketchup on the original version, just mayo, mustard, and relish. You can follow my Fatburger recipe below for an exact copy, or go to town with any condiment combination you like.
Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.
In 1991 Kentucky Fried Chicken bigwigs decided to improve the image of America's third-largest fast-food chain. As a more health-conscious society began to affect sales of fried chicken, the company changed its name to KFC and introduced a lighter fare of skinless chicken.
In the last forty years KFC has experienced extraordinary growth. Five years after first franchising the business, Colonel Harland Sanders had 400 outlets in the United States and Canada. Four years later there were more than 600 franchises, including one in England, the first overseas outlet. In 1964 John Y. Brown, Jr., a young Louisville lawyer, and Jack Massey, a Nashville financier, bought the Colonel's business for $2 million. Only seven years later, in 1971 Heublein, Inc., bought the KFC Corporation for $275 million. Then in 1986, for a whopping $840 million, PepsiCo added KFC to its conglomerate, which now includes Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. That means PepsiCo owns more fast food outlets than any other company including McDonald's.
At each KFC restaurant, workers blend real buttermilk with a dry blend to create the well-known KFC buttermilk biscuits recipe that have made a popular menu item since their introduction in 1982. Pair these buttermilk biscuits with my KFC mac and cheese recipe and the famous KFC Original Recipe Chicken to complete your meal.
Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.
For over 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.