The Full-on McRib

Categories: On the Menu

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No, a "full-on McRib" is not a euphemism for some new sexual position, but a description of my experience with the highly processed sandwich that makes an annual appearance on the McDonald's menu -- and all the high-fat, high-salt, high-sugar things that go along with it. Thanks to some inspiration from seemingly bottomless pit David Tong (@gettago on Twitter) and Katharine Shilcutt's McDonald's post, I summoned the courage to utter the words: "I'll take the McRib combo, please."

Deciding that the most syrupy drink on the menu would best complement the barbecue sauce on the sandwich, I chose the old medicine man, Dr Pepper, before a short internal discussion, in which I finally declined to supersize the whole thing. Call me a quitter if you must, but I do have some boundaries.

Twitching with the anticipation of a preschooler awaiting playground time, I savored a few of the fries straight from the bag on the drive home (aka, exacting my fry tax) and tried to hold off from ripping into the paper container that housed my first McRib in the last 20 years. There was a picture that had to be taken for the sake of our dear EOW readers, and this was the only thing coming between me and that sack of sodium, fat, sugar and salt.

At home, like a groom gently undressing his bride for the first time, I slowly opened the container and removed the paper from around the sandwich. But after removing the bun to get a good shot of all the components shoved in between the soft hoagie, I was taken aback at how truly ugly the McRib was naked. All this build-up, the anticipation, the 20 years of waiting came down to this gray, gelatinous meat wad slathered with a thin layer of barbecue sauce and topped with two pickles and a sprinkling of onion? Reality had set in - it was as if I went straight from the wedding night to bitching about the dishes being dirty, fighting over who takes the kids to soccer practice and falling asleep to Jay Leno's voice on the television.

Severely disappointed on looks alone, I trudged ahead and took the first bite. Ahh, the taste of self-loathing...it tasted like unnaturally lumpy meat formed into the shape of riblets, topped with a bit of sweet sauce with the kick of an onion and the tart of a pickle. There was no denying it -- this McRib was not what I remembered my 10-year old self enjoying. The craving morphed into disgust as I attempted to eat the rest of the sandwich. The McRib I had loved from afar for the last two decades was McNasty.

As I tossed the uneaten remainders of my now-imploded dream into the trash, I couldn't help but reminisce about the good ol' days when we used to have so much fun, but as the lid closed shut, I realized the McRib was officially dead to me.


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