Something just happened in my mouth and I’m not sure how to feel about it.
McDonald’s recently re-released the ballyhooed McRib and I had to go in for a second taste—my first time having a McRib was back in 2010. The McRib is kind of like the stereotypical “experimental” phase in college—everyone should try it once just so they know how they feel about it.
This particular go-round with the BBQ beast had me pleasantly surprised and more than a little disturbed. For those unfamiliar with the McRib, a quick internet search will tell you that, “[The] McRib consists of a restructured pork patty, barbecue sauce, onions and pickles served on a 5 1⁄2 inches (14 cm) roll. Despite its name, it is primarily composed of pork shoulder meat, according to McDonald's.” This limited time offering is seemingly met with equal amounts of fanfare and disgust throughout the nation—this sandwich is as polarizing as Trump v. Clinton without wreaking havoc on your Facebook feed.
Feel fortunate Nebraska, it’s a rare year for the McRib as only 8,000 out of 14,000 McDonald’s restaurants will feature the savory sandwich on their menus. But is the McRib right for you? Here’s one man’s pros and cons (accompanied with commentary from fellow McRib aficionados):
Pros of the McRib
It has 22 g of protein. “That’s nutrition you can’t just get anywhere, Josh. You’re not just going to find 22 grams of protein laying around in any old sandwich. That’s muscle-building protein right there!” —Brad Penner
A Meat Scientist in Nebraska invented the technology to bind the pieces of meat together. “There’s no bones. Why aren’t there any bones?! It looks like there should be bones.” —Aaron Grauer
Bonus "Pro": Meat Scientists are a thing that exists and I’m not ashamed to love that so much that I personally insist on capitalizing their title as if it were a proper noun.
The McRib does for onions what pizza did for pepperoni—very few food items can feature onions and actually make them a flavorful star like the McRib. “It’s like Christmas before Christmas!” —Erin Schmidt
Pickles offer juuuust enough zest and crunch to serve as a flavorful oasis in this sandwich. “It’s deliciousness on a bun.” —Shannon Wilkinson
A con for most, but since I’m a realist who knows bold flavors require bold measures: the McRib has 70+ ingredients. “It’s a shitty sandwich I just can’t lay off of.” —My brother (who doesn't work here and wouldn't let me link to his Facebook)
Cons of the McRib
Rubbery texture has you cringing with each bite. “As long as you know what you’re getting into…I don’t mind it. I like it, it’s been years since I’ve had one. File me away in the camp that will not make fun of you if you’re excited about it.” —Nathan Hamel
Concerning smoky flavoring? “It’s a hotdog shaped like real meat but doused in BBQ sauce, so no, I don’t think I have ever tried it.” —Bennett Holzworth
Heavy onion flavor lingers all day to shame you for your lunch time decision. “I just got out of the bathroom…I don’t know if I need to start that cycle over.” —Bryon Stuefer
Would you like fries with that?
In conclusion, I’m somewhat of an oddity who lands in the middle of the McRib frenzy—the pros certainly outnumber the cons, but man, if it’s quality over quantity, the cons certainly have it. Call me spoiled, but McDonald’s simply has too many delicious menu options available; making it nearly impossible to pass on safe comfort foods like the Big Mac, Dub QPC or nugs for a journey far beyond most of humanity’s comfort zone in a territory known as “The McRib.” Order it once. Have a take. Don’t be scared. Then go back to the tried-and-true options you secretly love.