Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mimicking McRib

McDonald's habit of making the long-popular McRib sandwich an irregular part of their menu has been the biggest tease in fast food for many years. Compare this in-and-out strategy to the numerous adverts for the already-pulled Angus burgers. Regular customers of the Golden Arches failed to be seduced by the sophistication of the higher-priced hamburgers and continued ordering sloppily prepared Big Macs and Quarter Pounders. Count on these same folks to repeatedly check McRib locators on the Web and immediately line up at registers whenever the tempting treat is brought back into circulation.

Of course, McD's loyalists are often joined by BK interlopers who only visit the Arch-rival to indulge in their BBQ sauce-covered cravings. As part of their summer fare, Burger King recently introduced a familiar-looking Rib Sandwich that has provoked some entertaining comments from video bloggers. One animated gentleman gave passing grades to the bun, pickles and sauce. When it was time to judge the all-important rib component, however, off came his hat and on came the scowls. Likening the meat to a piece of mushy Salisbury steak, it quickly became obvious that his first BK Rib Sandwich would be the last. Taken with understandable complaints about the size (smaller than McRib) and price (nearly $4 at last check) from other sources, Burger King's clone appeared to lack the come-hither charms of its legendary competitor.

What's a guy or girl to do during McRib's off-season? Find a friend or relative with a Sam's Club membership and steer the shopping cart towards the frozen food section. While loading up on free samples, locate the correct box and place it near the front. We'll talk later at home.

To quote the tear sheet, the Pierre BBQ Rib Sandwich is "a tender, boneless, rib-shaped pork patty glazed with barbecue sauce inside a soft, hearth-baked bun." For around $10 per eight- count box, you can enjoy an individually wrapped, savory McRib knockoff with the press of a few buttons. Best bet for preparation is thawing the sandwich in the refrigerator overnight and microwaving it on high power for 70-90 seconds. Once removed from the wrapper, feel free to adorn the patty with cold pickles, chopped onions or even Tater Tots. After kissing her first Pierre BBQ Rib Sandwich, a friend declared it to be arguably better than the McRib (blasphemy?) and offered to commission a painting of the box's cover art for me. I've been on an unplanned McDonald's hiatus for almost a decade, so I'd probably also give the nod to Pierre. Then again, I'm the one who has often cited weekly "McRib Days" as the highlight of my fifth-grade term at Churchland Academy Elementary in 1982-83. Two sandwiches paired with the cool, creamy contrast of red potato salad make for a delectable dinner ... or a light lunch for Major League Eating superstar Joey Chestnut. Those on sodium-restricted diets might want to chomp responsibly, as one serving contains 1020mg of the white stuff. That number adds up to 43% on the USDA score sheet.

Enough of the Dr.Oz-like blabber! Turn on the Pierre BBQ Rib Sandwich locator and simulate those special trips to McD's in the privacy of your man or woman cave. The aforementioned painting will hang alongside a curious work entitled "Mount Rushmore of Norfolk, VA." Faces have yet to be determined. Now, leave me alone and go ask Grimace to define "enigma" for you.


  1. I'm terrified to admit that I'm terrified to try a McRib. Since I'm approaching 40 years old, that fact probably makes me 'Un-Amer'kin'.

  2. What scares you the most about it?