McRib is back – popular sandwich back at McDonald’s for limited time

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Ladies and Gentleman, before you read the news that is about to be unveiled I think you should sit down, grab some Kleenex and prepare for the best, saliva-generating news you’ve heard in quite some time.


The McRib is back at McDonald’s for a limited time. Quick, throw away that moist kleenex because you are still drooling. Also, you can close your jaw and stop sticking your tongue out – The McRib is a delicious, fast-food creation but that doesn’t mean you have to sit there looking like a buffoon.

McDonald's McRib Combo Meal courtesy flyinroc via FlickrOkay, now that the shock has worn off and you are beginning to understand the news you just heard, let me tell you a little about the elusive McRib which, along with Monopoly and the Shamrock Shake, is one of McDonald’s most popular limited-time offers. The McRib promotion officially began Monday October 24 although some McDonald’s restaurants started serving the sandwich prior to Monday’s official announcement.

By now, most fast-food connoisseurs know that the McRib sandwich, which consists of a ground pork patty, barbecue sauce, onions, and pickles served on a 6 inch (15.2 cm) roll, is rarely available in the United States. While the McRib is always on the menu overseas at German McDonald’s, where pork is more popular, it is usually only on American McDonald’s menus once per year.

The McRib was first introduced in 1981 as a promotional item, similar to now, but because of high positive feedback in the Midwest, particularly Nebraska, the McRib became a full-time menu item. It’s non-promotional status lasted only a few years as the McRib was officially pulled from the menu in 1985.

Nearly 10 years later, in conjunction with the release of 1994 movie Flintstones, McDonald’s brought back the McRib because it looked similar to the rack of ribs that topples the Flintstones car. In the ensuing years, the McRib became quite the polarizing fast-food item.

Last year, for the first time since the 1994 promotion, McDonald’s made the McRib available nationally – during the interim years, individual franchises decided when to promote and sell the McRib. Apparently the outpouring of love and support for this unhealthy yet tasty fast-food item was so great that it boosted sales numbers. Therefore McDonald’s decided, once again, to make the McRib available nationwide.

The three-week promotion ends November 14 so act now or wait until next year.

It is no secret that the McRib is not a healthy fast-food meal – in fact, it’s quite the opposite, which is what makes the sandwich a guilty pleasure for many McDonald’s patrons (isn’t the entire menu at McDonald’s a guilty pleasure?).

The blended mix of boneless pork meat, tangy barbecue sauce, pickles and onions amounts to 500 calories and 26 grams of fat – and that’s before the large soft drink and the famous McDonald’s french fries. Surprisingly, the McRib is slightly healthier than the Big Mac based on calorie and fat counts. The Big Mac actually has 60 more calories and three more grams of fat.

It’s quite alright if you are not one of the hundreds of thousands of McRib supporter, no judgement here. But you might want to stay away from your local McDonald’s during the next three weeks. America’s love for the McRib extends past the drive-thru window and outside the confines of McDonald’s restaurants.

There are Facebook groups such as “Bring Back the McRib!!!”; Twitter tags ranging from the positive to the negative regarding the McRib’s popularity. Heck, according to an article in USA Today there is even a McRib Locator website, recently used by former Playboy Playmate Jenny McCarthy who wanted to find a McRib in Southern California.


The website’s creator, Alan Klein, said he suspected something was up when traffic exploded from about 150 hits a day to about 4,000 in the past week or so, as more fans reported sightings. People are sending him photos of their McRib variations: the McRib with lettuce and tomato, the McRib with bacon, three McRibs stacked on top of each other.

If you are fan of the ESPN Radio show The Herd with Colin Cowherd, you are aware that Cowherd’s satirical love for the unhealthy McRib is often shown in song form. In the past Cowherd has written a McRib song using Eminem’s “I’m Not Afraid” as a template or Plain White T’s “Hey there Delilah,” titled “Hey there McRibby.”

Finally, if you want to wow your friends with some random trivia, ask them to name the most elusive McDonald’s fast-food combo. The answer: a McRib combo with a Shamrock Shake. It’s elusive because the two limited-time offers are never sold at the same time – unless you live in Germany.

Photo courtesy flyingroc via Flickr and video courtesy JoshuaH9111 via YouTube.

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