I’ll never get it (The Elusive McDonald’s McRib)
A few months ago, I asked for your help. Some of you tried to help; others decided to make more work for me by starting a tangential conversation about Arby’s.
The McDonald’s McRib.
Why do people love this so much?
As it turns out, McDonald’s recently ran a McRib campaign, and I had to gain the first hand experience of this sandwich. I realize I’m treading into the murky waters of “bloggers who complain about the McRib,” and it’s like shooting fish in a jelly jar, but I’m all about full disclosure. And, the story takes a rather surprising turn. So hear me out.
I don’t normally eat at McDonalds. Hell, I don’t ever eat at McDonalds. I used to, a lot. I never minded the food. Hey, if you have to eat cheap, and have friends that handed you tons of disgusting food, why not?
There is a McDonald’s within driveable lunch distance from my job. One day, I made the drive over to the McDonald’s. Apparently, this was the same day a school field trip decided to use this very same McDonald’s as a pit stop. Ohh well.
After a long wait in the queue with little pips running around my legs, I ordered an Angus bacon and cheese burger meal, medium fries, with a diet Dr. Pepper. Ohh, and a McRib sandwich.
I unboxed the McRib for evidence gathering purposes.
From the beginning, I’ll start by saying that it looked exactly how I thought it would. Actually, scratch that. I expected the sauce to be tighter and darker. For review, I am on the record describing the McRib sandwich as “a pork burger bathed in BBQ sauce, shaped like a rounded rectangle with “ribs” sticking out, and served with onions and pickles.”
I was right about everything except the ’rounded rectangle with “ribs” sticking out’ part. I guess they stopped adding this frivolous and ridiculous detail.
Biting into this sandwich is like biting into a crunchy peanut butter and jelly sandwich. That is to say, mooshy with the occasional crunch from a bit of raw onion or pickle. After all, the steamed pork patty is allegedly made from unmarketable parts of pork, which are fashioned together and bound by an inherent high collagen (i.e. jelly) level in these parts as well as several binders and even bleaching agents found in yoga mats. The bun is basically white bread. There’s really not much to bite into there. And what you do bite into has no flavor at all.
Where I thought this was going to hit a home run was the sauce. After all, Burger King has, in the past, partnered with Bulls Eye BBQ sauce to make the legendary “Bulls Eye Burger” later rebranded to the “Rodeo Cheeseburger.” The BBQ sauce had to be amazing right?
The BBQ sauce on the McRib is disgusting. It tastes like a bland tomato sauce. There is no sweet component, and it is thin and runny. This was not at all what I expected to find on a McRib. Especially after this image, which clearly gave me the wrong idea.
I’m sorry everybody; I couldn’t eat much more than half of this.
But there was a silver lining to this black cloud.
The quality of the Angus Burger I ate impressed me. I am going to say I’m teetering between impressed and floored. I never in 1 million years expected to experience such a high quality looking and tasting sandwich at McDonalds. I don’t have pictures because I never intended to write about it, but the Angus burger was great.
The burger patty was nicely formed with a coarsely and irregularly ground beef. The cheese isn’t anything to write home about, and the bun, although tidy, isn’t anything too special. They use fresh red onions and thick slices of very good tasting bacon. I’m not going to lie when I say that they probably tricked me into loving this. I’m going to say this though, and I have lots of love for both Red Robin and Five Guys: The McDonalds Angus Burger can give Red Robin and Five Guys burgers a run for their money. The potential is all there; it’s just a matter of some focus.
But anyway, I tried the McRib. I hated it. Unless you hold a gun to my head, I’ll probably never try it again.