Top Secret Restaurant Recipes: Creating Kitchen Clones from America's Favorite Restaurant Chains

Todd Wilbur, Author, Todd Wilbur, Illustrator Plume Books $15 (322p) ISBN 978-0-452-27587-4
Recognizing that Americans spent $100 billion in 1996 dining at full-service restaurant chains, food writer Wilbur (Top Secret Recipes) has developed more than 100 knockoff recipes from such leading national chains as Applebee's, Denny's, Sizzler, Pizza Hut and Planet Hollywood. Convenience foods, simple directions and detailed drawings make these largely high-calorie offerings relatively easy for the home cook to duplicate. Surprisingly, this otherwise comprehensive collection does not include any alcoholic drink recipes to accompany spicy appetizers like Nachos Grande (from Chi-Chi's) and the Bloomin' Onion (from Outback Steakhouse). Some recipes are just basic home fare (e.g., California Turkey Sandwich, Cream of Broccoli Soup and French Toast). Others offer more innovation (e.g., Thai Chicken Pizza, Sweet Bourbon Salmon and Spicy Cajun Pasta). Desserts (e.g., Key Lime Cheesecake and Mountain High Mud Pie) round out the cookbook. Occasionally, Wilbur's overview of each restaurant and his use of brand-name ingredients sound suspiciously like advertising. But he generally maintains an amusing tone as he reproduces commercial fare for families hoping to bring some of the food, if not the atmosphere, of the strip into their own homes. Doubleday Book Club selection. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/02/1997
Release date: 06/01/1997
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