Do you go to certain restaurants and order the same menu items every time? Are there some dishes that you wish you could create at home? Depending on where you like to dine, these cookbooks could be the solution for you.
America’s Restaurant Recipes Cookbooks (vol. 1 and 2) are a collection of copycat recipes from some of the most popular restaurants around the country. Most of the recipes come from well-known, chain restaurants – and they are their signature dishes. The author, Ron Douglas, claims that these are exact replicas and that it is impossible to tell the difference between his recipes and the real thing.
Ron offers two cookbooks full of copycat recipes for the price of one, plus three additional bonus cookbooks. But, do the recipes really taste like the restaurant version? Here’s our take on this cookbook series.
Why Make Copycat Recipes at Home?
The first question you might ask is “why would I even want to make them at home when I could just go out?”. After all, eating out means you don’t have to cook, and you don’t have to clean up afterward. Plus, it is fun to get out and enjoy the atmosphere of your favorite restaurant, right?
While this is all true, there are still some great reasons to make these same recipes at home. First, eating out is expensive. By making your favorite foods at home, your family could save a ton of money on food without sacrificing the taste.
Second, these versions are much healthier. Not all chain restaurants make their foods from scratch. In fact, often they arrive at the restaurant premade and packaged (and full of preservatives). So, when you make them from your own kitchen, you can recreate the taste without the added “stuff” that you don’t need.
Another reason you may want to cook these recipes at home is simply because you can’t get out. Perhaps it is rainy or cold…. or you have a child who is sick. You can’t always get to your favorite restaurant when you are craving them. But, you could make the recipes at home.
The Story Behind the Top Secret Restaurant Recipes Cookbook
Author, Ron Douglas, realized that his family was spending too much on eating out and decided to try and recreate some of his family’s favorites at home. He looked online for copycat recipes and tried tweaking them on his own. These initial attempts did not work out as well as he had hoped.
He found that many of the copycat recipes online were just plain bad. And his family and friends were not exactly impressed. His wife gave him the ultimate challenge – to recreate KFC’s famous Colonel Sanders special fried chicken recipe – a recipe so secret that parts of it are held in two separate locations.
Ron took the challenge so serious that he partnered with a professional chef to recreate the KFC recipe and much more…. which ultimately led to these best-selling cookbooks.
A Look at America’s Restaurant Recipes Volume 1
You can download America’s Restaurant Recipes volumes 1 and 2 for just $19 – TOTAL. You’ll get both volumes for the price of one, plus three additional bonus cookbooks.
Inside, you will get secret recipes from top restaurant chains like Applebee’s, Chick-Fil-A, Olive Garden, Wendy’s, and many more.
Each recipe is easy to follow and make. And each one promises to taste just like the restaurant version.
==> Click here to view a presentation of the product
Copycat Recipes included in volume 1
There is a brief intro to the cookbook and a great table of contents that takes you directly to the recipes. The recipes are not in order by type, but by the name of the restaurant or brand. So simply find your favorite restaurant, then browse the list of recipes. Or, try something new! Some of the many fantastic recipes in this cookbook are:
Snacks and Appetizers
Who can resist a great appetizer or snack? Some of the most popular ones across the country are featured in this cookbook such as:
- Warm and toasty pretzels from Aunt Annie’s Pretzels (page 11).
- Tasty Bruschetta Carrabba from Carrabba’s Italian Grill (page 32).
- Handmade Onion Rings from the famous Hard Rock Café (page 65).
- Creamy good Crab Dip from Joe’s Crab Shack (page 80).
Salads and Sandwiches
Salads and sandwiches are true American fare, and there are many of them in this cookbook. Here’s a glimpse at just a few that you can make at home:
- Santa Fe Chicken Salad from the popular restaurant chain Applebee’s (page 7)
- El Torito Mexican Caesar Salad – a unique twist on a traditional favorite (page 58).
- The Mile-High Meatloaf Sandwich from the Cheesecake Factory (page 34).
- Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Fillet Sandwich (page 175).
Main Course Dishes
Want to surprise your family and friends with a delicious, restaurant quality dinner? This cookbook provides plenty of options such as:
- B. King’s Blues Club and Restaurant Southern Style Catfish (page 12).
- Dave & Buster’s Delicious Cheeseburger Pie (page 54).
- Macaroni Grill’s scrumptious Chicken Scaloppini (page 95).
- Crispy Coconut Shrimp from Outback Steakhouse (page 124).
Dinner’s not the only popular meal to eat out. Taking the family out for a warm and nourishing breakfast is a treat – but now you can treat them to the same fabulous flavors at home with these fantastic recipes:
- Stuffed Caramel Banana Pecan Cream Pancakes from Bob Evans (page 22).
- The special recipe for Cinnabon’s popular Cinnamon Buns (page 44).
- Ham & Egg Casserole from America’s favorite breakfast joint – Cracker Barrel (page 49).
- McDonald’s ever famous Egg McMuffin (page 100).
Seasonings and Sauces
Sometimes what sets a recipe or dish apart is the great seasoning or sauce that comes with it. Restaurants and brands know this and heavily guard the recipes to their tasty concoctions. Imagine your family’s delight when they taste some of these:
- The big, bold taste of Bull’s Eye Barbecue Sauce (page 26).
- California Pizza Kitchen’s uniquely delicious Roasted Garlic Paste (page 29).
- The secret ingredients in Lawry’s Seasoned Salt (page 88).
- The great Alexander Sauce from Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen (page 134).
Desserts and Beverages
Restaurant meals can add up, especially when you add specialty drinks and delicious desserts to the bill. But if you eat at home, you can add all the extras without the extra cost. Try some of these great dessert and drink recipes at home:
- Balducci’s tasty Tiramisu (page 16).
- Chocolate Motherlode Cake and Frosting from Claim Jumper (page 46).
- Marshmallow Rice Krispy Treat Shake from Jack in the Box (page 75).
- A sweet Cranberry Limeade from Sonic Drive-In (page 160).
These are just some of the many fantastic recipes you’ll find in this fabulous cookbook.
And that’s not all. In addition to this cookbook, chocked full of your favorite foods, you’ll get a second volume with all new recipes.
A Look at the America’s Restaurant Recipes vol. 2
The second edition of America’s Restaurant Recipes is full of an entirely new set of recipes. Many are from the same restaurants featured in the first edition (although different menu items) plus there are also recipes from new brands and restaurants included in this one. Here’s a look at what you can try from volume 2.
Recipes in Volume 2
As with volume 1, the recipes in this cookbook are ordered by restaurant or brand. These are some of the most secret, heavily guarded recipes that you can’t find anywhere else.
Snacks and Appetizers
The snacks and recipes in volume 2 are some favorites you won’t want to miss like:
- Applebee’s Chardonnay Mushrooms (page 3).
- California Pizza Kitchen’s healthy Tuscan Hummus (page 27).
- Amarillo Cheese Fries and Dip from Lone Star Steakhouse (page 81).
- The infamous Aussie Fries from Outback Steakhouse (page 111).
Salads and Sandwiches
Just like the first volume, volume 2 is loaded with great salad and sandwich recipes including:
- The Original Cobb Salad from Brown Derby (page 22).
- The Waldorf Hotel’s famous Waldorf Salad (page 151).
- Bennigan’s Baked Monte Cristo Sandwich (page 16).
- The original Chick-Fil-A Chicken Sandwich (page 35).
Main Course Dishes
For even more fun and delicious main course items try these great restaurant recipes:
- Bang Bang Chicken and Shrimp from The Cheesecake Factory (page 30).
- Dan Morino’s Penne Portabella Pasta (page 46).
- The Four Season’s scrumptious Crab Cakes (page 59).
- Slow-Cooked Pot Roast from Shoney’s (page 136).
Desserts and Beverages
This volume also includes delicious desserts and beverages that you will want to make over and over again such as:
- Fields Black & White Cookies (page 93).
- Baked Chocolate Mousse from the Ritz Carlton (page 128).
- Ocean Water from Sonic Drive-In (page 137).
- Tony Roma’s Chocolate Martini (page 147).
In addition to the two volumes of secret restaurant recipes, you will also receive three more bonus cookbooks: Secret Sauces Exposed, Kid Approved Cookbook, and Herbs 101 – How to Plant, Grow, and Cook with Herbs. Here’s a look at each of these bonus cookbooks:
Bonus Cookbook #1: Secret Sauces Exposed
This recipe book is a collection of 72 different classic sauces from five-star restaurants that you can make at home. Some of the recipes you’ll find inside include:
- Honey Barbecue Sauce (page 17)
- Dried Cherry Relish (page 26)
- Teriyaki Marinate (page 33)
- Three Cheese Alfredo Mayhem (page 46)
- Mushroom and Wine Steak Sauce (page 55)
- Rosemary Apple Salsa (page 73)
- And much more….
Bonus Cookbook #2: Kid Approved Cookbook
Tired of the same old recipes for kids? Sure, they can be finicky sometimes, but that doesn’t mean you must eat corn dogs and chicken nuggets every meal. These recipes offer some fun options that parents and kids will like such as:
- Polka Dot Pumpkin Cupcakes (page 15)
- Easy Apple Burritos (page 20)
- Honey Cinnamon Peanut Butter (page 34)
- Sloppy Joe Spaghetti Cups (page 55)
- And much more…..
Bonus Book #3: Herbs 101 – How to Plant, Grow, and Cook with Natural Herbs
This final book includes some recipes, but it is more of a valuable resource than it is a recipe book. It includes great information on herbs such as:
- How to grow an herb garden.
- Best ways to store herbs.
- Homemade herbal mixtures.
- Using herbs as medicine.
- Cooking with herbs.
What We Think of the America’s Restaurant Recipes Cookbooks (vol. 1 and 2)
These cookbooks are an extensive collection of secret recipes from some of the most popular restaurants and brands in the country. Plus, you’ll also get three bonus books with your order. So, is this collection a worthwhile investment? Here’s our thoughts on them:
We’re Not Fond Of
- The cookbook layout. In the America’s Restaurant Recipes cookbooks, the layout could be better. Each book lists recipes in order of the restaurant or brand that they are from instead of by category (i.e. main dish, salad, etc.). So, you have to know what you are looking for to some extent. A traditional format would have been easier for readers to explore and experiment.
- The lack of photos. There are no pictures in these cookbooks. While this is not a requirement, having at least a few recipe pictures is much more appealing.
- Too much sugary recipes in the Kid Approved cookbook. We would have liked to see a little more focus on healthy snacks and meals and less sugary sweet treats in this one.
- The recipes. These are very popular recipes, and many are family favorites. The author holds true to his promise to deliver great recipes that allow you to enjoy a restaurant quality meal at home.
- The stories.We love the stories about the history of the different restaurants that are included in these cookbooks. It makes it more fun to cook them knowing some background information.
- Easy access to recipes. Simply click on the recipe you are interested in from the table of contents to go directly to it.
If you find that you are spending too much money eating out, or just like the challenge of recreating your favorite restaurant meals, then you will love this collection. Not everything is healthy, however, it doesn’t promise to be. But it does allow you to make these meals without all the preservatives that are often found in the restaurant versions – and for a fraction of the cost.
Final Verdict: 4 Stars