CopyKat.com is a website where one can find over 1500 recipes that duplicate famous offerings from popular restaurants (mostly chains), as well as a few from grocery stores and products on grocery store shelves that are better fresh than made from a box. The question some may ask is, “Why would you make Boston Market meatloaf at home when you can just go over to Boston Market and have it?” Good question.
Many people have visited, but do not live near, the Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, or Boston Market (among the many restaurants included in Dining Out at Home). Cravings for Outback’s Queensland Chicken and Shrimp or Rainforest Café’s Caribou Coconut Chicken (pictured) may not be strong enough to warrant the round trip to a distant restaurant.
No one can promise that the Wendy’s Chili copy you make will taste exactly like the chili you get at Wendy’s, but then again, it’s not made with chopped-up, leftover hamburgers and is, in fact, a whole lot better than the original. Home chefs are not guaranteed restaurant results, but most of the dishes are equal to the originals or close enough to satisfy that T.G.I. Friday’s Nine-Layer Dip from which one suffers.
The techniques for creating the poser dishes are not difficult, however some of the recipes are complex and require a multitude of ingredients. The time spent in the kitchen for a few of the recipes will exceed the time it takes to order dinner and eat it in the restaurant. However, for those who actually enjoy cooking, there’s lots of fun to be had in recreating popular dishes, as well as reinventing them. It’s important to remember, though, that CopyKat.com’s Dining Out at Home Cookbook recipes are not the original recipes from the source restaurants, but CopyKat.com’s version of those recipes. “No sponsorship or endorsement by, or affiliation with, the trademark owners is claimed or suggested by the author or publisher.”
Recipes for dips, desserts, entrees, drinks, salads, and side orders are included in this collection. Imagine the barbecue or dinner party where you surprise your guests with favorite restaurant dishes that you’ve prepared at a fraction of the cost. In addition to the restaurants already mentioned, others inspiring recipes in CopyKat.com’s Dining Out at Home Cookbook: Recipes for the Most Delicious Dishes from America’s Most Popular Restaurants are Jack in the Box, Red Lobster, The Cheesecake Factory, Chili’s, IHOP, Brennan’s, Hooters, Cinnabon, and many others. Readers may not have heard of all the included restaurants, but have certainly eaten at a few (or more).
Bottom Line: Would I buy CopyKat.com’s Dining Out at Home Cookbook? Absolutely. Having lived in a metropolitan area and moved to a rural area, I miss many of the dishes copied within its pages.