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Denver’s 10 Best Restaurants

Denver’s 10 Best Restaurants


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The Mile High City’s culinary scene is on the rise

10) The Buckhorn Exchange

One of America’s oldest restaurants (and the oldest in Denver) as well as the best restaurant for meat eaters in the country, Henry "Shorty Scout" Zietz opened the Buckhorn Exchange in 1893, during a time when cattlemen, miners, railroad workers, silver barons, Indian chiefs, drifters, and businessmen all dined under the same roof. The restaurant was given the first liquor license in the state of Colorado and the food menu remains mostly unchanged to this day. The Buckhorn is a true Wild West holdout, with its circa-1857 antique bar, wooden fixtures, 575-piece taxidermy collection, 125-piece gun collection, and a menu that reflects that good ol’ American desire to eat some red meat. Giant steaks are the most popular offering, but there are plenty of exotic game meats on offer, too: elk, Cornish game hen, quail, and buffalo are available and can be served as samplers (elk and two quails; quail, duck and Cornish game hen; etc.) for those who really want to celebrate being on top of the food chain.

9) Pinche Taqueria

This taco spot’s name doesn’t translate well — just think of what you say when you’re moved to be either exceptionally mad or really happy, and you’ll get the idea. You’re likely to be the latter when you visit chef Kevin Morrison’s taqueria. Originally a taco truck, it puts a modern twist on comida de la calle (Mexican street food), along with small-batch tequilas. You’ll want to start with an order of queso fundido con chorizo and homemade chips, but from there it gets more difficult to choose. Carnitas? Pollo a la crema? Asada, lengua, or rajas con crema y maiz? There are also chipotle-and-beer-battered fish tacos and citrus grilled shrimp.

8) Linger

Global-influenced street food and creative cocktails are the name of the game at Linger, located in an old mortuary building. The dishes are fun and creative, ranging from African roasted peanut soup to Octopus Español, Mongolian BBQ duck, Thai snapper, and chile relleno, and the room is bright and airy. If you can’t decide where to go for dinner, Linger can satisfy just about any craving.

7) Stoic & Genuine

“Fish, oysters, and happiness are flown in daily,” this restaurant’s menu proclaims, and you’d be hard-pressed to argue with that last one. Oysters are sourced from both coasts, and absolute freshness is owners Jennifer Jasinski and Jorel Pierce’s main priority. The menu gives equal opportunity to the classics as well as the inventive: Hamachi sashimi with Lebanese falafel and a beet and ginger-cured salmon sandwich share menu space with fried clams, a lobster roll, and a whole steamed Maine lobster.

6) Luca D’Italia

Named for the son of owner Frank Bonanno, the cuisine of Luca is intended to be a celebration of the richness of life. The cuisine invokes a range of Italian cuisine, from the food Bonanno grew up with in his mother’s kitchen to many of the finest restaurants in New York. Try the capellini carbonara, with housemade guanciale, Parmesan crema, and a soft-poached yolk, or the dry-aged NY strip with Taleggio gnocchi. Luca is widely revered by locals and media alike, having been named the top Italian restaurant in the western United States by Zagat.

5) Duo

Since 2005, this restaurant has been one of Denver’s most in-demand, and a second location opened recently in the inauspicious location of Brattleboro, Vermont. The secret behind the restaurant’s success? Fresh, seasonal New American dishes that are creatively planned and incredibly delicious. Don’t miss the squash and ricotta fritters, chicken confit, Rock River Ranch buffalo, or porcini and sherry-braised pork shank.

4) ChoLon

The first restaurant from a veteran of New York’s Buddakan and Spice Market, ChoLon is a modern Asian bistro with a whole lot of classical French technique thrown in. It may sound chi chi on the outside until you take a look at the menu and realize that it’s also heavy on the comfort food: bacon “fried rice” carbonara, Indian spiced lamb shank, sweet onion and Gruyère soup dumplings, and sesame-honey-glazed pork belly buns are just a few of the standouts.

3) Euclid Hall

This American tavern has a menu that’s committed to elevating traditional pub food from around the world to new heights, and owners Jennifer Jasinski and Beth Gruitch succeed with flying colors. The fun and casual space dates to 1883, and favorites include fried Cheddar curds, Buffalo-style frog wings, pad Thai pig ears, foie gras by the ounce, and killer chicken and waffles.

2) Rioja

Chef Jennifer Jasinski (whose name has popped up a few times on this list) took home the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest 2013, largely because of what she’s been able to accomplish at Rioja. With “a menu inspired by Mediterranean ingredients and influenced by local and seasonal products,” the elegant space serves dishes like duck confit with butternut squash, maple syrup, sage, and walnuts; handmade black truffle gnocchi with maitake mushrooms, arugula, and red wine emulsion; and Colorado lamb two ways (grilled T-bone and braised belly) with sunchokes, cocoa nibs, Chinese broccoli, and dates.

1) Colt & Gray

Elegant yet comfortable, sleek yet rustic, Colt & Gray is a restaurant that isn’t afraid to “go there.” Committed to remaining affordable and utilizing every part of the animal, they’re turning out groundbreaking cuisine every night of the week here. All charcuterie, including cured meats, rillettes, pates, and terrines, are made at their own curing facility; sautéed sweetbreads are served with foraged mushrooms, winter greens, bacon, and hazelnuts; Colorado lamb appears both as a tartare and alongside smoked fingerling potatoes, yogurt, faro, and Brussels sprout hash, and cranberry pan sauce; and a Hudson Valley duck leg is stuffed with foie gras. If you want a big piece of meat, New York strips, filets, and 42-ounce porterhouses are all dry-aged in-house.


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6) Jonesy's EatBar Jonesy's is known for its French fries, which won our Best of Denver award this year, but the mac and cheese has plenty of fans, too. As Jonesy's says, the mac & cheese is made with "cheddar, cream, and love." You can eat it on its own, or add bacon or brocolini. Either way, it's definitely delicious. 5) Serioz Pizzeria Usually we wouldn't look for mac and cheese at a pizzeria -- the closest you'd come is probably overcooked fettucini swimming in heavy cream (not that this would upset us). At Serioz, though, the kitchen takes mac and cheese seriously. This version uses mozzarella, provolone, gouda and blue cheese, and tops all that goodness with toasted bread crumbs and truffle oil. 4) Sassafras When Sassafras says down-home, it means it. The made-to-order mac and cheese here is billed as "Granny's recipe," which starts with creamy cheese sauce and shaved Grana Padano. Good gets even better with the addition of bacon, mushrooms and peas, collard greens, a fried egg or pulled pork. Go, Granny, go! Continue reading for the rest of our favorites. 3) Sputnik The mac and cheese at Sputnik has gone through several evolutions, and the current version is out of this world -- a tasty combination of cheddar, asiago, monterey jack, cheez-it crumbs, and green onion, served in a big bowl with no frills and no extras. But you don't need them. 2) Ignite If you like your meal cooked in a skillet in a wood-fired oven (and come on! who doesn't?!) this mac and cheese is for you. That sizzling skillet holds cavatappi, a creamy four-cheese bechamel sauce, and smoked bacon and tomato diners have the option of adding roast chicken or mushrooms. 1) Mizuna The macaroni and cheese at Mizuna has been a hit since Frank Bonanno first put it on Mizuna's menu. This dish represents the highest elevation of a traditionally low-brow dish: simple elbow pasta dressed with smooth mascarpone cheese, beurre blanc, poached lobster and delicate lobster oil. White pepper and chervil round out this perfect plate for the most elegant -- and pricey -- take on macaroni we've ever tried, which won the Best Mac and Cheese award in the Best of Denver 2013.

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THE #1 COPYCAT RECIPES WEBSITE

For 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.

Menu Description: “Fried jalapeno coins, house-made-salsa, pepper-Jack, lettuce, tomatoes, and chipotle aioli.”

This 570-unit full-service chain has a sizeable menu, but it’s the thick 1/3-pound gourmet hamburgers, like this boomin’ bestseller, that bring in the crowds. And if you’re a burger lover who enjoys burgers that bite back, this is the hack for you.

To assemble your own version of this big beauty, I’ll first show you (with photos) how to make perfect crispy jalapeno coins and a simple chipotle aioli. The seasoning formula for the beef patty that I’m including here is an updated and improved version of the secret sprinkle I hacked years ago, but this time we’ll use easier-to-find ingredients.

Once you’ve prepped these components, it’s time to kick up the flames and grill some burgers. Top your burgers with pepper-Jack cheese, and assemble everything on sesame seed buns along with salsa, lettuce, and tomato. Then open wide.

Look here for more of your favorite dishes from Red Robin, Yummm.

“Don’t call them fries,” says KFC about its popular side made with sliced, skin-on russet potatoes. What sets these potatoes apart from all the others is the secret breading made with a similar seasoning blend to the one used for Colonel's Original Recipe Fried Chicken. To achieve the proper crispiness, the potatoes are par-fried, frozen, then fried again until golden brown.

One important ingredient that completes the flavor is MSG. Monosodium glutamate is a food additive derived from glutamic acid, which is an important amino acid found in abundance in nature, food, and in you right now. Over the last 60 years of study and use, MSG has not only been found harmless in normal amounts, but tests have shown glutamate to be a chemical messenger that benefits gut health, immunity, and brain functions such as memory and learning. In addition to all of that, it imparts a unique savoriness that enhances flavors in other ingredients and makes your food taste amazing. Using MSG in your food is, literally, smart cooking.

Another important ingredient is ground Tellicherry black pepper, a select black pepper from India. Winston Shelton, a friend of Harland Sanders who invented the first high-volume pressure fryers for KFC, confirmed this. Shelton recalled seeing the ingredient when Sanders showed him the secret formula for the fried chicken seasoning he had scribbled on a piece of paper.

While we were shooting the first episode of my TV Show, Top Secret Recipe, Winston pulled me aside and whispered to me that Tellicherry pepper is crucial to creating the unique KFC aftertaste. It was a great tip, and fortunately, we caught that moment on camera and you can see it in the show. Later, I conducted a side-by-side taste test with common black pepper and Tellicherry black pepper and discovered Winston was right. If you want the best taste for your clone you'll need Tellicherry pepper, which you can find online and in some food stores. Be sure to grind it fine before using it.

For this recipe, just two russet potatoes are all it takes to make the equivalent of a large serving of fried potato wedges, which will be enough for at least four people.

Get more of my KFC copycat recipes here.

Similar to cloning the cole slaw at KFC, the secret technique for duplicating Cracker Barrel's delicious slaw starts with slicing the cabbage into very small pieces. A mandoline works great for this or use whatever slicing contraption you have. Slice the heads of green and red cabbage on the thinnest setting, and then chop those strips into small bits. The carrot can be shredded using a cheese grater. Mix it all up and then let the cole slaw chill out for several hours so the mixture can get its flavor on. An overnight chill is even sweeter.

This huge chicken chain offers seven delicious dressings to top three salad choices, and this is my current favorite of the bunch. The Avocado Lime Ranch Dressing is best on a Southwestern-style salad like the one on Chick-fil-A’s menu with mixed greens, black beans, corn, spicy chicken, and tortilla strips on top. But it’ll work on just about any mixed greens salad or burrito bowl you come up with at home or use it as a dip for chicken fingers, taquitos, and Southwestern eggrolls.

For a good home clone be sure to smash the avocado until no chunks remain and let the dressing sit for at least an hour before you use it so the dried herbs, onion, and garlic can rehydrate and the flavors can bloom.

Click here for more of my Chick-fil-A copycat recipes.

Menu Description: “A deliciously different way to taco. Tangy grilled chicken, sweet Asian chile sauce and dumpling sauce stuffed into crispy wonton shells and topped with a crunchy slaw and cilantro mix.”

Re-creating this hit appetizer requires cloning four parts none of which are difficult: Grilled chicken, coleslaw, secret dumpling sauce, and the crispy wonton shell to hold all of it together. For the chicken, we’ll grill a couple of thighs and chop them up. Then we’ll use bottled sweet chili sauce—usually found in your grocery store where Asian foods are parked—to punch up the flavor.

The coleslaw is easy with a dressing that’s only five ingredients. The slaw is best when it has some time to sit and wilt a bit, so plan ahead for the best flavor. You can slice the cabbage yourself, but a coleslaw kit that’s a combo of sliced cabbage and shredded carrots is a big time-saver. Just measure out 4 cups of the cabbage blend and mix it with the minced cilantro and dressing.

Wonton taco shells are not a thing you can usually find in stores, so we’ll make our own using wonton wrappers and a skillet of hot oil. When the oil is hot, add a wonton wrapper and use tongs to fold it over diagonally as it fries until it’s crispy on both sides. It takes less than a minute to fry each wonton taco shell, and you’ll get better at it as you go. Just be sure to leave plenty of room in the taco for the delicious fillings to come.

I've cloned a lot of dishes from Applebee's. See if I hacked your favorites here.

Tony Roma had already been in the restaurant business for many years when he opened Tony Roma's Place in North Miami, Florida in 1972. This casual diner featured food at reasonable prices, nightly live entertainment and the house specialty: baby back ribs. Soon, customers were traveling from miles away to get a taste of the succulent, mouth-watering ribs. One rib-lover came from Texas in 1976: Clint Murchison, Jr., a Texas financier and owner of the Dallas Cowboys. After sampling the baby backs, and claiming they were the best he'd ever tasted, he struck up a deal with Tony to purchase the majority of the U.S. rights to the company and planned for a major expansion.

The famous barbecue ribs served at the restaurant have been judged the "Best in America" at a national rib cook-off and have won more than 30 awards at other state and local competitions. The secret to the tender, melt-in-your-mouth quality of the ribs at Tony Roma's is the long, slow-cooking process. Here is the Top Secret Recipes version of the cooking technique.

The sauce cloned here is the sauce the made the chain famous—Tony Roma's serves it on their Original Baby Back Ribs. This version of the sauce uses a ketchup base, vinegar, dark corn syrup and a bit of Tabasco. The chain uses their sauce on baby back ribs and has started selling it by the bottle in each restaurant. Now you can make a version of your own that is less costly than the bottled brand, and can be used on any cut of ribs, or even chicken.

Check out my clone recipes for these other 3 sauces: Caroline Honey Sauce, Blue Ridge Smokies Sauce, and Red Hots Sauce.

The sweet-and-savory breakfast sandwich made with two slices of French toast first appeared on the Burger King menu in 2019, but it was just for a limited time. In 2021, BK brought the breakfast sandwich back, and this time it came with a new ingredient: buttery maple spread. The first version of the sandwich was good, but the sequel with the new maple spread is great.

And that’s right where this clone starts. The hack here for the buttery maple spread is just three ingredients and it will chill out in your fridge while you make the easy French toast. Find small, thin slices of white bread for that. Sara Lee makes a loaf of bread called Delightful that works great.

The real French toast sandwiches come with either sausage, bacon, or ham, so pick your favorite and insert it between the egg and cheese. If your ingredients cool down as you are prepping, just pop each assembled sandwich into your microwave for about 15 seconds prior to serving for perfectly warmed French toast and gooey melted cheese.

Check out more of my Burger King copycat recipes here.

Menu Description: “Four buttermilk pancakes layered with a fiesta of warm cinnamon spread, crunchy mini-churros and sweet cream cheese icing. Crowned with whipped topping.”

This creative flapjack recipe is cloned by starting with my hack for IHOP’s famous buttermilk pancakes from Top Secret Recipes Step-by-Step. A fresh stack of these fluffy pancakes is then layered with the sweet cinnamon spread made with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.

Rather than making churros from scratch, we’ll save time by using frozen churros. I found some at Target and Walmart. Chop them into bite-size chunks and arrange them on top of the pancakes, then drizzle your stack with the homemade cream cheese icing recipe here, and prepare to accept your “oohs” and “ahhs.”

Check out more of your favorite recipes from IHOP right here.

Here's a simple copycat recipe for KFC potato salad that's no longer sold as a side dish at America's largest fast food chicken chain. Some of the skin is left on the potatoes in the real thing, so you don't have to peel yours too thoroughly. Just be sure to chop your potatoes into cubes that are approximately 1/2-inch thick, and then let the salad marinate for at least 4 hours so that the flavors can properly develop. If you let the salad chill overnight, it tastes even better.

Try my recipes for KFC fried chicken, baked beans, coleslaw, and many more here.

It’s about time for Top Secret Recipes to hack one of Starbucks all-time bestselling baked snacks. For this banana bread knock-off, I settled on a blend of both baking powder and baking soda for a good crumb and dark crust that perfectly resembles the original. And I decided it best to go big on the dark brown sugar, not only for flavor but also because the extra molasses in the darker brown sugar triggers a helpful leavening boost from the baking soda. It’s also important to know that an accurate clone must have both walnuts and pecans in the mix, because that’s what’s really in it, according to the official Starbucks website ingredients info. All other copycats I saw got it wrong when it came to the nut blend, so if you want a true clone, this is the hack to bake.

I've cloned a ton of drinks and treats from Starbucks. See if I hacked your favorite here.

Menu Description: Tender marinated steak, fire-roasted poblanos, cilantro pesto, yellow onions, Mozzarella, Monterey Jack and fresh cilantro. Served with housemade salsa verde.

One of California Pizza Kitchen’s most popular “globally-inspired” pizzas is this fabulous pie topped with strips of marinated flank steak, cilantro pesto, and fire-roasted poblano pepper. I broke it down and hacked all the parts for you—including the awesome salsa verde that goes on top—so that you can assemble two beautiful pizzas that look and taste like the real thing.

Sometimes deliciousness requires patience, so be sure to plan this clone one day in advance to allow your dough to properly proof and the steak to fully marinate. You can also prep the pesto, salsa verde, and roasted poblano one day in advance so that when it comes time to make pizzas the next day, you just need to cook the carne asada, build the pizzas, and bake.

Exclusive signed copy. Buy the #1 National Bestseller from America's Clone Recipe King, signed by the author, and we'll include a free bottle of our Hell Flakes, a 5-pepper microflake blend to kick up all your grub!

For more than thirty years, Todd Wilbur has been obsessed with recreating America's most iconic brand-name foods at home. In his first cookbook with color photos, the New York Times bestselling author brings you 125 new clone recipes: 75 first-time hacks and 50 overhauled all-time favorites. These recipes are not found individually on the website with the exception of just a few.

Each recipe comes with easy-to-follow step-by-step photos so that even novice cooks can perfectly recreate their favorite famous foods with everyday ingredients. And your homemade versions cost just a fraction of what the restaurants charge! The result of years of careful research, trial-and-error, and a little creative reverse-engineering.

Contents
Applebee's Mozzarella Sticks
Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad
Applebee's Mexican Rice
Applebee's Fiesta Lime Chicken
Applebee's Maple Butter Blondie
Arby's Curly Fries
Auntie Anne's Pretzels
Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream
Boston Market Meatloaf
Buba Gumps Seafood Hush Pups
Bubba Gump's Shrimp New Orleans
Burger King Stuffed Steakhouse Burger
Cafe Rio Creamy Tomatillo Dressing
Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Barbacoa
Cafe Rio Tres Leches Cake
Capital Grille Creamed Corn with Smoked Bacon
Capital Grille Lobster Mac 'N' Cheese
Capital Grille Classic Creme Brulee
Carrabba's Cozze in Bianco (Steamed Mussels)
Carrabba's Pollo Rosa Maria
Cheesecake Factory Fried Macaroni and Cheese
Cheesecake Factory Stuffed Mushrooms
Cheesecake Factory Mashed Red Potatoes
Cheesecake Factory Chicken Madeira
Cheesecake Factory Louisiana Chicken Pasta
Cheesecake Factory Fresh Strawberry Cheesecake
Cheesecake Factory Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich
Chili's California Grilled Chicken Flatbread
Chili's Chipotle Chicken Flatbread
Chili Grilled Baby Back Ribs
Chili's® Molten Chocolate Cake
Chipotle Mexican Grill Black Beans
Chipotle Mexican Grill Cilantro Lime Brown Rice
Chipotle Mexican Grill Adobo-Marinated Grilled Chicken & Steak
Girl Scout Cookies Trefoils/Shortbread Cookies
Hostess CupCakes
Hostess Twinkie
Houston's Chicago-Style Spinach Dip
IHOP New York Cheesecake Pancakes
IHOP Original Buttermilk Pancakes
IKEA Swedish Meatballs
Jack-in-the-Box Beef Taco
KFC Cole Slaw
KFC Grilled Chicken
KFC Original Recipe Fried Chicken
Legal Sea Foods New England Clam Chowder
Legal Sea Foods Legal's Signature Crab Cakes
Lofthouse Frosted Cookies
Long John Silver's Tartar Sauce
Long John Silver's Battered Fish
Marie Callender's Famous Golden Cornbread
Marie Callender's Banana Cream Pie
Mauna Loa Kona Coffee Glazed Macadamias
McDonald's McCafe Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie
McDonald's Sweet Chili Chicken McWrap
McDonald's Big Mac
McDonald's McRib Sandwich
McDonald's Baked Apple Pie
The Melting Pot Cheddar Cheese Fondue
The Melting Pot Traditional Swiss Cheese Fondue
Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookies
Nordstrom Roma Tomato Basil Soup
Nuts 4 Nuts Honey Roasted Nuts
Olive Garden Garden Fresh Salad & Salad Dressing
Orange Julius Original Orange Julius
The Original Pancake House Apple Pancake
The Original Pancake House Dutch Baby
The Original Pancake House Sourdough Pancakes
Outback Steakhouse Honey Wheat Bushman Bread
Outback Steakhouse Bloomin' Onion
Outback Steakhouse Kookaburra Wings
Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Panera Bread Asian Sesame Chicken Salad
Panera Bread Fuji Apple Chicken Salad
Panera Bread Spinach & Bacon Baked Egg Soufflé
Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookies
P.F. Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps
P.F. Chang's Oolong Chilean Sea Bass
Pinkberry Original Frozen Yogurt
Pinkberry Pomegranate Frozen Yogurt
Raising Cane's Cane's Sauce
Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers
Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits
Red Lobster Pumpkin Pie in a Jar
Roy's Braised Short Ribs of Beef
Roy's Misoyaki "Butterfish"
Roy's Melting Hot Chocolate Soufflé
Rubio's Mild Salsa
Rubio's Red Tomatillo Salsa
Rubio's Grilled Gourmet Taco with Shrimp
Rubio's Original Fish Taco
Ruth's Chris Steak House Barbecued Shrimp
Ruth's Chris Steak House Ruth's Chop Salad
Ruth's Chris Steak House Sweet Potato Casserole
Ruth's Chris Steak House Chris Filet
Sabra Classic Hummus
St. Elmo Steak House Shrimp Cocktail
Starbucks Birthday Cake Cake Pops
Starbucks Holiday Gingerbread
Steak 'n Shake Classic Milk Shakes
Steak 'n Shake Genuine Chili
Steak 'n Shake The Original Double 'n Cheese Steakburger
Taco Bell CrunchWrap Supreme
Taco Bell Mexican Pizza
TGI Friday's Loaded Potato Skins
TGI Friday's Jack Daniel's Sauce
TGI Friday's Dragonfire Salmon
Tony Roma's Baby Back Ribs
Tony Roma's Original Barbecue Sauce
Tony Roma's Carolina Honeys Barbecue Sauce
Waffle House Waffles
Wendy's Chili
Wendy's Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger

Craving more of Todd's recipes? There are 11 cookbooks in all!

It was the creator of Pizza Hut’s Stuffed Crust Pizza who came up with the idea to cook bits of maple syrup into small pancakes for a new sweet-and-savory breakfast sandwich offering from the world’s #1 fast food chain. Tom Ryan’s idea became a reality in 2003 when the McGriddles—with maple-flavored griddle cake buns—debuted on McDonald’s breakfast menu, and the sandwich is still selling like hotcakes today.

To make four cloned McGriddles at home you’ll first need to produce eight perfectly round griddle cakes that are infused with sweet maple bits. Recipes that instruct you to make hard candy from maple syrup for this hack will fail to tell you that the shattered shards of hard candy don't completely melt when the griddle cakes are cooked resulting in a distinct crunch not found in the real McDonald’s product. Also, breaking the hard maple candy into small uniform chunks is both difficult and messy. My solution was to make a flavorful maple gummy puck that could be neatly petite diced and sprinkled into the batter as it cooks.

Just be sure to use maple flavoring rather than maple extract for the maple gummy. Maple flavoring has a more intense flavor than the extract and the dark brown caramel coloring will make your maple bits look like pancake syrup. You’ll also need one or two 3½-inch rings to make griddle cakes that are the perfect size for your clones.

This recipe duplicates the bacon version of the sandwich, but you can replace the bacon with a patty made from breakfast sausage for the sausage version, or just go with egg and cheese.

Get more of my McDonald's copycat recipes here.

Menu Description: “A baked blend of Italian cheeses, pasta, and our signature five-cheese marinara.”

Hacking Olive Garden’s famous baked ziti would not be possible without a perfect clone of the chain’s popular five-cheese marinara sauce. I started with my previous hack of the plain marinara for Olive Garden’s Chicken Parmigiana and enhanced it with the addition of five kinds of Italian cheese and heavy cream.

Determining which five types of cheese are in a prepared sauce is tough without some insider assistance, so before cooking I focused my efforts on convincing a server to ask the chef for the list…and I got it! The blend of cheese used here in the sauce comes straight from the kitchen of my local Olive Garden. When you taste it you’ll know the intel was legit.

After the sauce is added to the pasta it’s topped with a cheese-and-breadcrumb mix called “ziti topping,” then it’s browned under a salamander (for the restaurant version) or a broiler (for your version). The result is a beautiful dish with great sauce and a cheesy topping that should satisfy even the pickiest baked ziti fanatics.

I've cloned a ton of dishes from Olive Garden. See if I hacked your favorite here.

Menu Description: “Fried jalapeno coins, house-made-salsa, pepper-Jack, lettuce, tomatoes, and chipotle aioli.”

This 570-unit full-service chain has a sizeable menu, but it’s the thick 1/3-pound gourmet hamburgers, like this boomin’ bestseller, that bring in the crowds. And if you’re a burger lover who enjoys burgers that bite back, this is the hack for you.

To assemble your own version of this big beauty, I’ll first show you (with photos) how to make perfect crispy jalapeno coins and a simple chipotle aioli. The seasoning formula for the beef patty that I’m including here is an updated and improved version of the secret sprinkle I hacked years ago, but this time we’ll use easier-to-find ingredients.

Once you’ve prepped these components, it’s time to kick up the flames and grill some burgers. Top your burgers with pepper-Jack cheese, and assemble everything on sesame seed buns along with salsa, lettuce, and tomato. Then open wide.

Look here for more of your favorite dishes from Red Robin, Yummm.

The sweet-and-savory breakfast sandwich made with two slices of French toast first appeared on the Burger King menu in 2019, but it was just for a limited time. In 2021, BK brought the breakfast sandwich back, and this time it came with a new ingredient: buttery maple spread. The first version of the sandwich was good, but the sequel with the new maple spread is great.

And that’s right where this clone starts. The hack here for the buttery maple spread is just three ingredients and it will chill out in your fridge while you make the easy French toast. Find small, thin slices of white bread for that. Sara Lee makes a loaf of bread called Delightful that works great.

The real French toast sandwiches come with either sausage, bacon, or ham, so pick your favorite and insert it between the egg and cheese. If your ingredients cool down as you are prepping, just pop each assembled sandwich into your microwave for about 15 seconds prior to serving for perfectly warmed French toast and gooey melted cheese.

Check out more of my Burger King copycat recipes here.

It’s about time for Top Secret Recipes to hack one of Starbucks all-time bestselling baked snacks. For this banana bread knock-off, I settled on a blend of both baking powder and baking soda for a good crumb and dark crust that perfectly resembles the original. And I decided it best to go big on the dark brown sugar, not only for flavor but also because the extra molasses in the darker brown sugar triggers a helpful leavening boost from the baking soda. It’s also important to know that an accurate clone must have both walnuts and pecans in the mix, because that’s what’s really in it, according to the official Starbucks website ingredients info. All other copycats I saw got it wrong when it came to the nut blend, so if you want a true clone, this is the hack to bake.

I've cloned a ton of drinks and treats from Starbucks. See if I hacked your favorite here.

You just never know when you'll be craving a clone of your favorite famous food like Popeyes Chicken Sandwich, Nabisco Fig Newtons, Texas Roadhouse Rolls, or KFC Carolina Gold BBQ Chicken. But whenever you do, and wherever you are, this collection of delicious new secret recipes will be there in the palm of your hand.

Hardcopy color cookbooks have a pretty steep base price these days, so I’m releasing Top Secret Recipes Unleashed exclusively as an Amazon ebook to keep the price down. It looks just like a print version would look because it displays in full-color on any device that runs the free Kindle app: phones, tablets, and PCs.

And once you have it on your device you’ll always have the book with you (even if you’re not connected), which can be pretty handy when you’re at the grocery store hunting down ingredients.

Let’s dig in and check out the Table of Contents so you can see all the recipes inside:

American Coney Island Chili Dogs
Bahama Breeze Coconut Shrimp
Bahama Breeze Banana Nut Bread Supreme
Bahama Breeze Rum Cake
Barney's Beanery Classic Chili
BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse Honey Sriracha Brussels Sprouts
BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse Monkey Bread Pizookie
Bojangles Buttermilk Biscuits
Bojangles Bo-Berry Biscuits
Bojangles Dirty Rice
Bojangles Bo's Special Sauce
Bush's Country Style Baked Beans
California Pizza Kitchen Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower
Carl's Jr. Fried Zucchini
Cheddar's Painkiller
Cheddar's Santa Fe Spinach Dip
Cheddar's Monte Cristo
Cheesecake Factory Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
Cheesecake Factory Cheeseburger Spring Rolls
Cheesecake Factory Pork Belly Sliders
Cheesecake Factory Oreo Dream Extreme Cheesecake
Cheesecake Factory Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake
Chick-fil-A Chicken Noodle Soup
Chick-fil-A Mac &Cheese
Chick-fil-A Sweet & Spicy Sriracha Sauce
Chili's Original Chili
Chipotle Carnitas
Costco Blueberry Muffins
Denny's Buttermilk Pancakes
Denny's Hearty 9-Grain Pancakes
Einstein Bros. Bagels Twice-Baked Hash Brown
Hattie B's Nashville Hot Chicken
Heinz Mayochup
Hershey Gold Peanuts & Pretzels
Hooters Daytona Beach Style Wings
Hooters Original Style Wings
Hostess Powdered Donettes
IHOP Mexican Churro Pancakes
IHOP Mexican Tres Leches Pancakes
IHOP Red Velvet Pancakes
Jolly Rancher's Hard Candy
KFC Potato Wedges
KFC Chicken Pot Pie (Improved)
KFC Extra Crispy Tenders
KFC Georgia Gold Honey Mustard BBQ Sauce
KFC Nashville Hot Chicken
Kind Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt Bar
Kings Hawaiian Original Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
Knott's Berry Farm Shortbread Cookies
Kozy Shack Rice Pudding (Improved)
Kozy Shack Tapioca Pudding
Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows
Leonard's Bakery Malasadas
Maggiano's Beef Tenderloin Medallions
Maggiano's Vera's Lemon Cookies
Melting Pot Coq Au Vin Fondue
Melting Pot Cocktail Sauce
Melting Pot Curry Sauce
Melting Pot Ginger Plum Sauce
Melting Pot Gorgonzola Port Sauce
Melting Pot Green Goddess Sauce
Melting Pot Teriyaki Sauce
Nabisco Fig Newtons
Nothing Bundt Cakes White Chocolate Raspberry
Olive Garden Braised Beef Bolognese
Olive Garden Chicken Margherita
Olive Garden Chicken Parmigiana
Olive Garden Chicken Piccata
Olive Garden Stuffed Chicken Marsala
Olive Garden Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Olive Garden Warm Apple Crostata
Orville Redenbacher's Movie Theater Butter Popcorn
Outback Steakhouse Baked Potato Soup
Outback Steakhouse Chili Lime Corn
Outback Steakhouse Bacon Bourbon Salmon
Outback Steakhouse Toowoomba Steak
P.F. Chang's Banana Spring Rolls
Panda Express Beijing Beef
Panda Express Honey Sesame Chicken Breast
Panda Express Honey Walnut Shrimp
Panda Express Fortune Cookies
Panera Bread Autumn Squash Soup
Panera Bread Baked Potato Soup
Panera Bread Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Panera Bread Turkey Chili
Panera Bread Vegetarian Summer Corn Chowder
Panera Bread Cinnamon Crunch Bagel Cinnamon
Panera Bread Crunch Scone
Panera Bread Blueberry Scone
Patti LaBelle Sweet Potato Pie
Pei Wei Wei Better Orange Chicken
Pizzeria Uno Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
Popcornopolis Caramel Popcorn
Popeyes Chicken Sandwich
Popeyes Spicy Mayonnaise
Qdoba Tortilla Soup
Qdoba Grilled Adobo Chicken
Rao's Homemade Marinara Sauce
Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles
Shake Shack ShackBurger
Shake Shack Frozen Vanilla Custard
Shake Shack Vanilla Milkshake
Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte
Starbucks Bacon & Gruyere Sous Vide Egg Bites
Starbucks Egg White & Roasted Red Pepper Sous Vide Egg Bites
Starbucks Iced Lemon Loaf Cake (Improved)
Starbucks Petite Vanilla Bean Scones
Swiss Chalet Dipping Sauce
Taco Bell Breakfast Crunchwrap
Taco Bell Chalupa Supreme
Taco Bell Nacho Fries
Taco Bell Diablo Sauce
Taco Bell Green Tomatillo Sauce
Texas Roadhouse Rolls
Thomas English Muffins
Warheads Super Sour Spray Candy
Wendy's Hot Chili Seasoning
Wendy's Maple Bacon Chicken Sandwich
Wendy's Chocolate Frosty (Improved)
Wendy's Vanilla Frosty
Werthers Original Hard Candies
Wingstop Garlic Parmesan Wings
Wingstop Lemon Pepper Wings
Wingstop Original Hot Wings
Zaxby's Chicken Fingerz
Zaxby's Zax Sauce

See any of your favorites?

Your home printer will make beautiful full-page, full-color printouts from the book to use in your kitchen. I printed these from my iPhone:

I hope you have as much fun with my new book "Top Secret Recipes Unleashed: Mind-Blowing Secret Formulas for Cloning Your Favorite Famous Foods at Home", as I had creating these delicious recipes.

At Cosmic Wings, Applebee’s second attempt at a virtual chicken wing chain, they have a code name for the Cheetos crumbs that coat their signature wings: Cheedle. The delivery-only wing chain debuted in February 2021 and has several other more traditional sauce flavors such as classic Buffalo, honey mustard, and spicy barbecue, but it’s the sauce made with Cheetos that puts the cosmic in the wings.

The concept is simple and the hack is straightforward once you pick your flavor or Cheetos to crush. Are you going with the more mellow regular cheese flavor Cheetos, or the kicked up Flamin’ Hot Cheetos? Pick your flavor and crush up some “Cheedle” in a food processor. If you don’t have one of those you can put the Cheetos in a storage bag and whack on ‘em with a kitchen mallet or rolling pin.

Fry some wings, baste them with a buttery sauce, and toss them in the Cheedle of your choice. And if Flamin’ Hot isn’t hot enough for you, you could use Cheetos XXX Hot Flamin’ Hot Cheetos that are twice as hot as Flamin’ Hot, and you’d have kicked-up version that isn’t offered on the menu.

Find more fun and easy appetizer recipes here.

Menu Description: “A deliciously different way to taco. Tangy grilled chicken, sweet Asian chile sauce and dumpling sauce stuffed into crispy wonton shells and topped with a crunchy slaw and cilantro mix.”

Re-creating this hit appetizer requires cloning four parts none of which are difficult: Grilled chicken, coleslaw, secret dumpling sauce, and the crispy wonton shell to hold all of it together. For the chicken, we’ll grill a couple of thighs and chop them up. Then we’ll use bottled sweet chili sauce—usually found in your grocery store where Asian foods are parked—to punch up the flavor.

The coleslaw is easy with a dressing that’s only five ingredients. The slaw is best when it has some time to sit and wilt a bit, so plan ahead for the best flavor. You can slice the cabbage yourself, but a coleslaw kit that’s a combo of sliced cabbage and shredded carrots is a big time-saver. Just measure out 4 cups of the cabbage blend and mix it with the minced cilantro and dressing.

Wonton taco shells are not a thing you can usually find in stores, so we’ll make our own using wonton wrappers and a skillet of hot oil. When the oil is hot, add a wonton wrapper and use tongs to fold it over diagonally as it fries until it’s crispy on both sides. It takes less than a minute to fry each wonton taco shell, and you’ll get better at it as you go. Just be sure to leave plenty of room in the taco for the delicious fillings to come.

I've cloned a lot of dishes from Applebee's. See if I hacked your favorites here.

Taco Bell’s popular Cinnamon Twists are inspired by a traditional Mexican treat made by frying duros de harina until puffy, then sprinkling the crunchy spirals with cinnamon/sugar. Duros, or duritos, is a special pasta made with wheat flour and cornmeal or cornstarch that swells up in seconds in hot oil, transforming it into a light and crispy snack.

You can find duros in many shapes at Latin markets or online, but for this hack you want spirals that look like rotini. Most duros you find will likely be saltier and denser than what Taco Bell uses since the chain created a custom recipe for American palates.

It takes just 10 to 15 seconds for the pasta to puff up in the oil—it will be sudden and dramatic and the duros crisps will float to the top. When they do, gently poke at them, and stir them around in the hot oil until they are evenly cooked. It only takes about a minute to fry each batch.

Watch me make these tasty twists in this new video!

Find more of my Taco Bell copycat recipes here.

It was the creator of Pizza Hut’s Stuffed Crust Pizza who came up with the idea to cook bits of maple syrup into small pancakes for a new sweet-and-savory breakfast sandwich offering from the world’s #1 fast food chain. Tom Ryan’s idea became a reality in 2003 when the McGriddles—with maple-flavored griddle cake buns—debuted on McDonald’s breakfast menu, and the sandwich is still selling like hotcakes today.

To make four cloned McGriddles at home you’ll first need to produce eight perfectly round griddle cakes that are infused with sweet maple bits. Recipes that instruct you to make hard candy from maple syrup for this hack will fail to tell you that the shattered shards of hard candy don't completely melt when the griddle cakes are cooked resulting in a distinct crunch not found in the real McDonald’s product. Also, breaking the hard maple candy into small uniform chunks is both difficult and messy. My solution was to make a flavorful maple gummy puck that could be neatly petite diced and sprinkled into the batter as it cooks.

Just be sure to use maple flavoring rather than maple extract for the maple gummy. Maple flavoring has a more intense flavor than the extract and the dark brown caramel coloring will make your maple bits look like pancake syrup. You’ll also need one or two 3½-inch rings to make griddle cakes that are the perfect size for your clones.

This recipe duplicates the bacon version of the sandwich, but you can replace the bacon with a patty made from breakfast sausage for the sausage version, or just go with egg and cheese.

Get more of my McDonald's copycat recipes here.

This super-spicy, slightly-sweet dipping sauce was introduced in the Fall of 2020 with the debut of the Spicy McNuggets, and it was the first new McDonald’s dipping sauce since the 2017 re-release of the infamous Szechuan Sauce (sauce mob details and hack here). The Mighty Hot Sauce was only offered for a limited time, and it vanished along with the Spicy McNuggets later that year. But not for long. Due to a social media outcry, Spicy McNuggets and Mighty Hot Sauce came back to the Golden Arches on February 1, 2021, for another limited-time-only run.

Now you can get that same heavenly Mighty Hot Sauce heat any time you want at home with this simple formula and use it as a dip for chicken fingers, wings, or whatever. This hack will give you about ½ cup of the sauce, but feel free to double it for a mightier portion. Just add another 20 seconds to the cooking time.

If you want the best McDonald’s match use Texas Pete’s cayenne sauce for your hack. If you can’t find that brand, go with Frank’s.

Click here for more great McDonald's copycat recipes.

As Pizza Hut veers away from salads it’s becoming harder to find their popular Italian dressing. Perhaps this is why we’ve been getting an increasing number of requests here to hack the endangered classic salad sauce before it becomes extinct. When a search for the salad dressing here in Las Vegas hit a dead end I was thankful for a TSR fan in Pennsylvania who was able to send me a giant 1-gallon bottle of the stuff that should last me though most of the decade.

Sure, it’s a lot of dressing, but the benefit of having an official bottle is that it comes with an official list of ingredients on the label. That was certainly helpful and informative, although I opted to not include the propylene glycol alginate (ick!) and xanthan gum in my version and kept it to simply basic ingredients, plus MSG. Monosodium glutamate is practically as safe as salt and it’s an important part of the umami flavor found in the original. A respectable clone cannot be made without this important ingredient, so include it if you want a perfect match. You can find MSG in stores in the spice aisle under the brand-name Ac’cent or in bulk online.

You might also want to try my clone recipe for Pizza Hut Pan Pizza.

For a great chicken tortilla soup that doesn’t skimp on chicken and comes packed with other goodies like two kinds of beans, corn, chiles, onion, celery, garlic, and cilantro you’ll want to hack Chick-fil-A’s hearty version. Their soup is not only surprisingly good for a fast food chain, but it could also stand up to tortilla soups from any full-service chain, and these preparation secrets will guide you through a spot-on at-home clone.

For the white beans look for canned navy beans or small white beans. Cannellini beans and Great Northern beans are too big for a perfect clone, but if that's all you can find they’ll still work here.

The chicken is made the same way as in my Top Secret Recipe for Chick-fil-A Southwest Chicken Salad—it’s brined for four hours to infuse it with flavor before it gets grilled. Keep that extra prep time in mind when planning your soup.

Chick-fil-A uses natural roasted chicken flavor in their version, and we can do the same by using Better Than Bouillon Roasted Chicken Base found in many stores and online. That particular ingredient will give you the best clone, but if you can’t track it down you can also use regular bouillon cubes.

Top your soup with fried tortilla strips sold in bags or just crumble some of your favorite tortilla chips over the top, and grab a spoon.

This huge chicken chain offers seven delicious dressings to top three salad choices, and this is my current favorite of the bunch. The Avocado Lime Ranch Dressing is best on a Southwestern-style salad like the one on Chick-fil-A’s menu with mixed greens, black beans, corn, spicy chicken, and tortilla strips on top. But it’ll work on just about any mixed greens salad or burrito bowl you come up with at home or use it as a dip for chicken fingers, taquitos, and Southwestern eggrolls.

For a good home clone be sure to smash the avocado until no chunks remain and let the dressing sit for at least an hour before you use it so the dried herbs, onion, and garlic can rehydrate and the flavors can bloom.

Click here for more of my Chick-fil-A copycat recipes.

Menu Description: Tender marinated steak, fire-roasted poblanos, cilantro pesto, yellow onions, Mozzarella, Monterey Jack and fresh cilantro. Served with housemade salsa verde.

One of California Pizza Kitchen’s most popular “globally-inspired” pizzas is this fabulous pie topped with strips of marinated flank steak, cilantro pesto, and fire-roasted poblano pepper. I broke it down and hacked all the parts for you—including the awesome salsa verde that goes on top—so that you can assemble two beautiful pizzas that look and taste like the real thing.

Sometimes deliciousness requires patience, so be sure to plan this clone one day in advance to allow your dough to properly proof and the steak to fully marinate. You can also prep the pesto, salsa verde, and roasted poblano one day in advance so that when it comes time to make pizzas the next day, you just need to cook the carne asada, build the pizzas, and bake.

A popular staple of any Chinese chain is the fried rice so it better be good, and the version served at Panda Express most certainly is. Here's an easy hack when you need a stress-free, low-cost side for your entrées. But I do suggest that you cook the white rice several hours or even a day or two before you plan to make the finished dish. I found that the cooked rice called for in this recipe works best when it's cold.

As for a shortcut, bagged frozen peas and carrots will save you from the hassle of petite-dicing carrots since the carrots in those bags are the perfect size to produce an identical clone. And they're already cooked.

Now, how about some Honey Walnut Shrimp, or Beijing Beef to go with that rice? Find all my Panda Express copycat recipes here.

For 64 years KFC branded itself with the feelgood slogan “Finger Lickin’ Good,” but when the Coronavirus pandemic struck in 2020 that slogan didn’t feel so good anymore and the chain put it on pause. That also meant that KFC’s Finger Lickin’ Good Sauce, which I hacked here, was removed from the menu, and in its place KFC offers the new, and much better, KFC Sauce for dipping chicken fingers, popcorn chicken, and wings, or for slathering on a chicken sandwich.

Finger Lickin’ Good Sauce tasted similar to the dipping sauces you get at the chicken finger chains like Zaxby’s and Raising Cane’s. But this new sauce is different. This time KFC seems to have been inspired by the sweet-and-smokey creamy mustard sauce at Chick-fil-A.

For our clone we’ll use mostly regular Grey Poupon Dijon mustard, but since there are detectable mustard seeds in the sauce we’ll also bring in just a little bit of Grey Poupon Country Dijon. This type of mustard contains the mustard seeds we need to give our sauce the perfect texture and flavor.

I've cloned a lot of other stuff from KFC. See if I hacked your favorites here.

Menu Description: “A baked blend of Italian cheeses, pasta, and our signature five-cheese marinara.”

Hacking Olive Garden’s famous baked ziti would not be possible without a perfect clone of the chain’s popular five-cheese marinara sauce. I started with my previous hack of the plain marinara for Olive Garden’s Chicken Parmigiana and enhanced it with the addition of five kinds of Italian cheese and heavy cream.

Determining which five types of cheese are in a prepared sauce is tough without some insider assistance, so before cooking I focused my efforts on convincing a server to ask the chef for the list…and I got it! The blend of cheese used here in the sauce comes straight from the kitchen of my local Olive Garden. When you taste it you’ll know the intel was legit.

After the sauce is added to the pasta it’s topped with a cheese-and-breadcrumb mix called “ziti topping,” then it’s browned under a salamander (for the restaurant version) or a broiler (for your version). The result is a beautiful dish with great sauce and a cheesy topping that should satisfy even the pickiest baked ziti fanatics.

I've cloned a ton of dishes from Olive Garden. See if I hacked your favorite here.


Best Mediterranean Food In Denver

(credit: pkabob.com)

If your exposure to hummus is just what you purchase at the local grocery store, then it is time to expand your culinary point of view. Mediterranean food is all about fresh ingredients, something you just can’t get from store-bought hummus. Try one or two of these delicious Mediterranean restaurants for a true education in what the food is really all about. You&rsquoll fall in love with falafel, baba ghanoush and dolmas just like everyone else.

Jerusalem Restaurant
1890 E. Evans Ave.
Denver, CO 80210
(303) 777-8828
www.jerusalemrestaurant.com

Since 1978, if you have a craving for falafel, shawarma or baba ghanoush at 3 a.m., there is just one place to visit. Jerusalem Restaurant is the go-to place for late-night Mediterranean munchies. This iconic neighborhood restaurant is a popular spot for students at the University of Denver but it is also on the list of foodie fans from all over the Denver area. You&rsquoll find all of the important menu items here, with delicious meats, shish kabobs and some of the best baklava in town. Plus, it is the only restaurant of its kind open until 5 a.m. on weekends, perfect for those after-bar food cravings.

Ali Baba Grill
2060 S. University Blvd.
Denver, CO 80210
(303) 282-5008
www.alibabagrill.com

If you like hummus, then you simply must try Ali Baba Grill. The hummus here is some of the best in town and that is just a small indication of the rest of the amazing food at this popular Denver eatery. The lunch special is a great deal, you can get a falafel sandwich with fries and a drink for less than $10. The bonus? The falafel is never greasy and always delicious. The décor of the restaurant is a lot of fun too with a great water fountain and picturesque paintings setting the backdrop for your dining experience. It’s another hot spot for DU students but it’s well worth the crowds.

Marrakech Grill
2290 S. Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80222
(303) 759-3611
www.marrakechgrilldenver.com

Moving away from the DU scene, you’ll find another popular Mediterranean restaurant on south Colorado Boulevard. The Marrakech Grill offers all the must-have items. The hummus is fantastic, the lamb and chicken is always moist and tender and the kafta is a must-try. Vegetarians will love the selection here with a lot of delicious veggie-friendly options while meat lovers will drool over all of the great meat platters. While there is no bar here, you are allowed to bring in your own wine, just grab your favorite on the way. Be sure to save room for baklava, it’s another must at this fantastic Denver restaurant.

Phoenician Kabob
5709 E. Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80220
(303) 355-7213
www.pkabob.com

Don&rsquot let the exterior of this restaurant fool you. This unassuming strip-mall location hides one of the best Mediterranean spots in town. Phoenician Kabob is famous for its service but you&rsquoll stay for the incredible food. All of the important items are here &ndash kabob, hummus, dolmas, shawarma, fatayer and more. Try the Lebanese martini, a delightful combination of Cointreau, Chambord and Brun Arak. It is a tasty treat that is unlike any other martini you&rsquove ever had. Plus, depending on what night you dine at Phoenician Kabob, you may even catch the belly dancers.

Yaffa&rsquos Savory
2200 S. Monaco Parkway
Denver, CO 80222
(303) 758-0083
www.yaffassavory.com

Chef Yaffa of Yaffa&rsquos Savory was born and raised in Israel, meaning she has a complex mix of Moroccan, Mediterranean and Jewish cuisine in her background. In addition to the delicious food in the restaurant, there is also a Boutique Café/Food market where you can pick up homemade herb blends, sauces, salads and incredible desserts to go. But the food at Yaffa’s Savory deserves to be enjoyed fresh from the kitchen. The menu is small but you&rsquoll find all of the crucial items for a successful Mediterranean dining experience. Add to it by asking to chat with Yaffa, she’s always there and always ready to meet her guests and explain her culinary techniques.


Momofuku Seiōbo (Sydney, Australia)

In many ways, Momofuku Seiᓛo is antithetical to the mission of the WBR list, which is to shine a light on restaurants that express the culture of their locations. This is a slick and darkly moody Caribbean restaurant owned by an American restaurant group, bumping reggae in the back hallway of a hulking casino in Sydney, Australia. But rules are meant to be broken. Chef Paul Carmichael, who is originally from Barbados, approaches the food of his homeland with lyricism, specificity, and an unwavering dedication to deliciousness. Carmichael has worked extensively in Puerto Rico and New York City, and did his senior thesis at the Culinary Institute of America on the food and history of the Caribbean. Cou cou, the unofficial national dish of Barbados, is made here with fresh corn and sterling caviar rather than the traditional cornmeal and flying fish roe, giving it a sweet and salty elegance. If you look closely, Momofuku Seiobo does reveal things about its location, in the riotously beautiful Australian produce used by Carmichael. Intensely flavored sea urchin is sandwiched between impossibly thin, crisp cassava chips. Marron—the seasonal Australian freshwater shellfish that’s like lobster but better—is smothered in a bright sofrito. This is undeniably one of the best restaurants in the world, and Carmichael deserves all the recognition afforded his famous boss and possibly more. seiobo.momofuku.com


I've Eaten At Nearly Every Single Chain Restaurant&mdashThese Are The 10 Best Desserts

Two years later and over 20 restaurants down, I've found the best desserts at the most popular chain restaurants. These are worth saving space for&mdashsome are so good, I recommend skipping the entrée altogether.

This towering dessert is a mix of a flaky croissant and doughy donut. The salty caramel and hot fudge dip send it over the edge.

If you're obsessed with a salty-sweet dessert, this one is for you. The toffee chunks and the warm buttery cookie go perfectly with the salted caramel drizzled ice cream.

Of course Olive Garden would have a dessert lasagna. The eight-layered brownie tower has thick cream cheese to break up the chocolatey-sweetness of the brownie. P.S. We have a copycat recipe of this one because y'all love it that much.

Looking for a crispy dessert? P.F. Chang's has just the thing for you. Bananas are sliced, rolled in spring rolls, fried, and then drizzled with a caramel-vanilla concoction. My favorite part is dipping the rolls in the coconut-pineapple ice cream.

Look, we could've put the molten chocolate cake in here for Chili's, but I think we all know about it, and to be honest. it's overrated. Switch it up and get the paradise pie next time. It's full of butter, coconut, walnuts, and chocolate. This baby's got layers.

I've never dreamed about a dessert more than this moist, soft, fudge cake. If I could have this for my birthday every single year I'd be content.

Not a chocolate fan? I hear you. The tart and sweet key lime pie at Bonefish Grill is light enough for you to eat the entire slice yourself. The graham cracker crust is addictive.

Out of all of the cheesecakes at the Cheesecake Factory, I've got my eyes set on this peanut butter dream. It's dense, chocolatey, and the peanut butter sticks to the roof of your mouth. You'll need a glass of milk with this one.

Remember how I fell in love with Cracker Barrel's chocolate cake just a few seconds ago? Well, meet the denser, sexier version. The Great Wall of Chocolate is sensual. I highly recommend you buy this to-go and eat it alone in your bed.

In English, this means "chocolate dream" and honestly, Carrabba's nailed it. It is the perfect balance between dense and light the brownie is thick while the chocolate mousse layers are fluffy. This picture should go next to the word "decadence" in the dictionary.


1. Graves Good Burger at Zeppelin Station

This just-opened Zeppelin Station vendor has raced straight out of the gate to become a front-runner in the “best new burger” category. With a résumé that includes stints at Husk in Nashville and Commander’s Palace in New Orleans, chef Nick Graves (who also operates Lea Jane’s Hot Chicken at Avanti Food & Beverage) has just about perfected the classic double cheeseburger, using an 80/20 grind sourced from Lombardi Brothers Meats, Blue Point buns, and a mustardy special sauce. But he also makes three other versions — including a vegetarian umami bomb with mushrooms, Swiss, and roasted-garlic aioli — as well as crunchy-fluffy wedge fries accompanied by mushroom ketchup.

The mushroom-Swiss burger at Graves Good Burger is a vegetarian tower with mushroom ketchup and roasted-garlic mayo. Ruth Tobias/Eater


Favorite Breakfast Recipes

Have a group coming for breakfast or brunch and need to serve scrambled eggs? Here is how to cook and hold the eggs so they are still hot and delicious when dishing up. Preparation time: 10 minutes. Serves 6.

Memories are waiting to be made with this scrambled egg recipe using smoked wild salmon. I am fortunate to live in Washington State (USA) because of the variety of quality products available. This is an easy restaurant breakfast recipe but the "key" is using quality smoked salmon. Preparation time: 5 minutes. Serves 4.

This is one of the best and most famous American omelet. If it is scrambled and placed between slices of toast it becomes a Denver sandwich and is equally as good. Preparation Time: 8 minutes. Servings: 2.

The combination of ingredients in this Bacon-Spinach-Swiss Omelet is really fabulous. This egg recipe is a great way to start your day! Preparation time: 10 minutes. Serves 2

I like to have fun naming some of my restaurant recipes! This is a recipe for a delicious sausage omelet. Preparation time: 12 minutes. Serves 1-2.

Ring that breakfast bell! This baked sausage omelet is not only delicious and easy to cook, it is a very flexible recipe. Preparation time: 15 minutes. Serves 6-8

This delicious omelet is a low fat chicken omelet primarily because the omelet is made only with egg whites (no yolks). Preparation time: 10 minutes. Servings: 1-2.

A huge selling omelet at my restaurant when I run it as a special. The restaurant recipe calls for bay shrimp with fresh avocado. Preparation time: 8 minutes. Serves 1-2.

Make this recipe ahead of time. Serve the next day when you think you’ll be pressed for time. Great restaurant style breakfast recipe and buffet item! Preparation time: About 40 minutes. Recipe serves 12.

A fresh-from-the-garden restaurant frittata recipe makes a truly delicious and nutritious meal. It is wonderful to live in a farming valley and have easy access to freshly grown, hand-picked, organic vegetables and herbs. I make use of this blessing with this recipe. Preparation time: 25 minutes. Serves 4.

Wonderfully delicious combination of Italian sausage, a bit of garlic, marinara or Italian meat sauce and cheese. Preparation time: 12 minutes. Serves 2-4 people.

Corned Beef Hash is as much appreciated by my restaurant guests for breakfast as is a dinner of Corned Beef and Cabbage. Preparation time: 10 minutes. Serves 4.

One of the most requested breakfast recipes by newspapers as well as customers (guests). There IS a secret to this restaurant recipe. If refrigerated, the batter will keep 5 weeks (cool!) Preparation Time: Approximately 20 minutes. This breakfast recipe will result in 12-16 muffins depending on your pan.

YUMMY! Fresh or frozen berries. In a sour cream batter, these delicious muffins may become your Sunday morning extravagance! Preparation time: approximately 20 minutes. 16-20 servings.

Make this breakfast recipe ahead and in “bulk.” Serve with one of my “fab” muffins juice, coffee or tea. You’ve got a delicious, nutritious, fast breakfast! Preparation time: about 20 minutes. 10-12 servings.

An unusual but delicious crustless quiche using half an acorn squash with eggs, pork sausage, apples and onions. Preparation time: 25 minutes. Serves 6.

Yes, real men do eat quiche and lots of it. This restaurant recipe is a favorite with bacon and Swiss cheese. Preparation time: approximately 25 minutes. Serves 4.

An ideal breakfast treat for people who do not care for the more traditional breakfast meats such as bacon, sausage or ham. Preparation time: 30 minutes: Serves 4.

This restaurant recipe for Smoked Salmon Quiche I usually feature on a Sunday special sheet. A Best Restaurant Breakfast Recipe. Preparation time: 25 minutes. Serves 4.

Believe it or not, I introduced my customers to this breakfast a number of years ago. This recipe now sells like “hotcakes.” My customers also like this frittata recipe for lunch and dinner. Preparation time: 15 minutes. Recipes serves 2.  

A delicious ham scramble with diced red potatoes, green pepper and red onions, all topped with my wonderful  Hollandaise sauce. Preparation time: 8 minutes. Serves 1-2 people.

Of course . the title is because of the spinach and my restaurant guests and I named it what we did for fun (again). Preparation time: 8 minutes. Serves 2 people.

We run this on our restaurant special sheet when we have extra cooked potatoes and I call it "grub." It sells very well. I have one other recipe I call "town grub" and it, too, sells out. People seem to relate to the term, but the point is . they love this restaurant breakfast recipe. So will you. Preparation time is about 15 minutes. Serves 2. Enjoy!

A combination of bay shrimp, red cabbage, bok choy, carrots and pea pods make this an unusual, but delicious, scramble. Preparation time: 10 minutes. Serves 1-2.

I call this delicious chicken scrambled egg recipe a "Tuscan Chicken Scramble" simply because it contains spinach, basil, tomatoes, garlic and Mozzarella cheese. Preparation time: 10 minutes. Serves 1-2.

Okay . I admit it. I developed my versions of a breakfast sandwich after the “golden arches” introduced them. However, my sandwiches are much better tasting and more nutritious. Preparation time: 8 minutes. Serves 4.

We first made this real restaurant frittata recipe for a group brunch at the restaurant. This frittata recipe was a hit!

This breakfast recipe is for a sourdough sandwich with scrambled eggs, peppers and mushrooms. You may add a meat choice if desired, but the sandwich is delicious and nutritious without any meat. Preparation time: 8 minutes. Serves 1.

These same ingredients for this breakfast recipe can be used to cook a scramble but I enjoy wrapping them all up in a warm tortilla and having salsa and guacamole served on the side. Preparation Time: 20 minutes. Servings: 1-2.

No meat needed for this restaurant breakfast recipe! This delicious breakfast sandwich recipe came to me as a result of the influence of the Southwest and Mexico. Preparation time: 10 minutes. Serves 1.

Oh . yummy! Delicious, moist and tender and absolutely fabulous with a quality maple syrup or fruit topping. Preparation time: 5-10 minutes. Serves: 6 large pancakes.

The secret to this "show-stopper" breakfast recipe is the batter. Preparation time: 15 minutes. 6-8 servings.

This is an easy French Toast Recipe that my grand daughter eats every time she visits me at the restaurant. But she is not alone. This French Toast "sells like hotcakes!" Preparation time: 30 minutes. Serves: 4 or 16, 2 slices each.

Favorite Restaurant Recipe With Children . and I also found out a lot of adults like this French Toast Recipe with Strawberry Butter, too. Preparation time: 45 minutes. Makes 20 servings but the recipe is easy to scale back.

A recipe “two-fer.” Make both. Pour the hot gravy over the biscuits for a  treat you will not soon forget! Preparation time: about 25 minutes. 12 servings.

Enjoy your breakfast recipes and the company you share them with!

“What nicer thing can you do for somebody than to make them breakfast?”


TAG Burger Bar


If you want a chef-caliber burger, leave it to a chef. Troy Guard brought his burgers to the Congress Park neighborhood in 2012, offering a fun, modern take on beef between buns. The burgers are highly configurable, with starter sets coming in at under $10 (for the TAG Classic or the Old School) and ranging up to $13 for the Wild West bacon burger and the Magic Dragon bison burger. Don't miss the duck-fat fries and Guard's iconic fried pickles. Note: After November 22, TAG Burger Bar will be closed until December 2, and then will reopen for outdoor dining, takeout and delivery.

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