The New Burger King Rib Sandwich vs. The Legendary McDonald’s McRib: Jersey Joe Declares the Winner [Kicking Back with Jersey Joe]...

This summer, another fast food fight will heat up and it’s not over hamburgers, but pork!  Burger King has just begun serving up a BBQ Rib Sandwich to take on the McDonald’s McRib: a sandwich so out there – it has a cult following.  Can this new BK sandwich take the crown from the McRib?  I’m already declaring the victor! The McDonald’s McRib may be one of the most mysterious, yet delicious sandwiches the restaurant has ever served up.  The McRib first went on sale nationwide in 1982 after a few months of test marketing. The sandwich consists of a pork patty, dill pickles, onion slivers, and BBQ sauce on a dusty 5 ½” roll.  The McRib was not an immediate hit and was removed from all menus in 1985.  Since 1989, it would reappear regionally for only a few select weeks of the year.  Not every McDonald’s carried the item and only in select regions of the United States.  (A rare exception was when it was briefly sold nationally in 1994 to tie into The Flintstones Movie and a McRib, Jr. was briefly sold in 2000 on a regular hamburger bun.) The limited availability of the sandwich gave it a large cult following with some McRib addicts (such as me) driving to another state to get one.  When I first moved to the New York City area, no local McDonald’s sold it, leaving me to drive to southern New Jersey or Pennsylvania. I also once got to enjoy a Double McRib, a sort of secret version, at a McDonald’s on the southern end of the Las Vegas strip. The sandwich became so popular; it was even parodied on an episode of The Simpsons and made fun of on How I Met Your Mother. A website, The McRib Locator, allows fans to track where the sandwich is being served in the United States each year. Even after a series of promotional campaigns saying they would end the sandwich, McDonald’s again serves McRibs nationwide for a few weeks each year.  It was last served in the US from December 2012 – early February 2013.  A location will serve what they have until supplies run out. Every time the sandwich is served, McDonald’s core sales increase by several percent.  People do flock to their restaurants for one.  When the McRib was offered for sale in New Zealand, it was supposed to be for a six week run to tie into the Olympic Games, but hungry fans exhausted supplies in days! Looking to cash in on the sandwich’s fame and to boost sales this summer, Burger King has introduced their own version: The Burger King Rib Sandwich. The Burger King Rib Sandwich follows the same basic build as the McRib, but with a few differences.  While both contain pork meat ground up into a boneless patty, Burger King’s seems to have a more solid consistency.  A Time magazine article has found the McRib is made with 70 different ingredients, including fillers that are also used to make athletic gym mats. McDonald’s McRib sauce is a bit spicy; where as Burger King’s sauce is a bit sweet. The pickles McDonald’s uses on their McRib are dill, where The Burger King Rib Sandwich’s are sweet. There are NO onions on the Burger King Rib Sandwich. McDonald’s uses a small hoagie style roll to serve theirs’ and the patty is rectangular, where as Burger King uses an artesian roll and their patty is circular. I hit the drive through at the Burger King near the Holland Tunnel and ordered up the value meal that includes fries or onion rings and a drink.  Both restaurants offer a small, medium, or large value meal.  I chose the medium for my dinner and the cost was $6.39, plus tax.  (Suggested price for the sandwich alone is $3.49) I could see the countdown clock behind the drive through window...

On the Exegesis of the Soul Or: Why I Love Beef Stick [The Ryan Dixon Line]...

INTRODUCTION TO THE 2012 EDITION “May I try a free sample?” After speaking those six simple words, the ritual would always be the same: A smiling gray-haired clerk at a Hickory Farms Christmas stand in one of the many Western Pennsylvania malls I visited during my childhood would poke a toothpick into a delicately cut square of meat, hand it to me and the door to paradise would open… I love Hickory Farms Beef Stick. Like that Christmas Eve story Grandpa always told that became longer and more convoluted as the years went on, the time has once again arrived for my ever-growing annual holiday column on Hickory Farms Beef Stick (or, as it’s unfortunately known now, “Summer Sausage”). If George Lucas can give us approximately 18,281 Special Editions of Star Wars, there’s no reason why I can’t write an additional hundred words or so each year, expanding on the joys and sorrows experienced while eating the greatest of the great American foods. (Attention conspiracy theorists: Just because I’ve written and spoken at length about my McRib addiction and am now once more delving into a hagiography of Hickory Farms Beef Stick does not mean that I’m on the American Meat Institute’s payroll. Of course, if anyone from the American Meat Institute is reading this post, I would actually very much like to be on the payroll. Feel free to tweet me up at @ryanbdixon.) And so, dear readers, Fierce and Nerdy is proud to present: ON THE EXEGESIS OF THE SOUL OR: WHY I LOVE BEEF STICK: REVISED and EXPANDED EDITION with a SLIGHTLY NEW, or more accurately, NEWLY REVISED INTRODUCTION (Which You Just Read) and a BRAND NEW (And Very Tragic) EPILOGUE 1: BEEF STICK, LORD OF THE MEMORY PALACE There is...

It’s the End of the World As We Know It, and Sam Feels Fine [Fierce Anticipation]...

Happy New Year and Welcome back! Before we begin, remember: this may be the FIRST entry of the LAST year of Fierce Anticipation, before the vengeful feathered-snake god Quetzalcoatl flies from on high, scorching the earth and summoning Cthulhu and the other ancient ones to wreak their unspeakable horrors unto mankind, until the skies become as black as satin cloth, and the Black Eyed Peas reign supreme… or, you know, not that.  Fiercely Anticipating Believe it or not, I am very much anticipating my new years resolutions. Ah yes, New Years Resolutions: the self-imposed, yet societally-enforced, tradition of setting unrealistic goals for oneself, and simultaneously setting yourself up for defeat. You inevitably reach the crushing realization that you, as always, SUCK at keeping resolutions. Each year, we make lofty goals to “lose 50 lbs (and keep it off!)” or “quit smoking, for real this time” or “stop buying from that convenience store down the street that I am confident is guilty of human trafficking, but is the only one on this side of town that carries Schwepp’s ginger ale.” We make these goals, and then we give up. We give up because we set the bar way to high. For the last several years, I have kept my goals realistic; open and ambiguous. When asked what my resolutions were, I’d say “This year, I will settle the score” or “show them all.” This usually resulted in the other person smiling politely, as I rubbed my hands together maniacally, magically dimming the lights around me while organ music crescendos. This year, I do have some actual goals; goals I am really Fiercely Anticipating because I genuinely will enjoy getting them done. And if you give a crap, here they are listed below (if not, I’ll...

WIN A McRIB! The Five Reasons Why the McRib is the Greatest Fast Food Item of All Time [The Ryan Dixon Line]...

Want to win a free McRib? Then play Fierce & Nerdy’s Search for the Great McRibiography! Here’s how to win your FREE McRib: 1. Read Ryan’s Dixon’s now classic manifesto: The Five Reasons Why the McRib is the Greatest Fast Food Item of All Time 2. In the Comments section below, share your own personal McRib story or why you think the McRib is the Greatest Fast Food Item of All Time. 3. Fierce & Nerdy’s Blue Ribbon panel (made up of Ryan Dixon, Jersey Joe, and F&N editors Ernessa T. Carter and Amy Robinson) will select the best stories that touch upon the core values of the McRib. (What are those values, exactly? We’re working on it.) 4. Winners will be mailed a coupon for one free McRib! And that’s it. It’s easy. Almost as easy as going to going to your local McDonald’s and ordering yourself a McRib. But hurry, just like the McRib, our contest is for a limited time only: all stories must be posted by TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1st. And now, let’s get on with the show… INTRODUCTION TO THE FIVE REASONS WHY THE MCRIB IS THE GREATEST FAST FOOD ITEM OF ALL TIME Why Me? How did an always poor, mostly anonymous and only occasionally witty blogumnist living in Burbank, CA suddenly find himself as the protagonist in a real-life, 21st century Horatio Alger novel? In 2010,  I was quoted in the Wall Street Journal, my voice was heard on NPR and perhaps the greatest corporation in American history became my follower on Twitter. And I owe it all to one saliva-inducing, two-syllable word: McRib. My journey to becoming a PhD in Pork Product and being hailed as the world’s foremost expert on McDonald’s legendary and enigmatic sandwich all...

The Ryan Dixon Line: On the Exegesis of the Soul or: Why I Love Beef Stick...

a blogumn by Ryan Dixon INTRODUCTION TO THE 2010 EDITION Like that Christmas Eve story Grandpa always told that became longer and more convoluted as the years went on, the time has once again arrived for my ever-growing annual holiday column on Hickory Farms Beef Stick. I figure if George Lucas can give us approximately 18,281 Special Editions of Star Wars, there’s no reason why I can’t write an additional hundred words or so each year, expanding on the joys and sorrows experienced while eating the greatest of the great American foods. (Attention conspiracy theorists:  Just because I wrote about my McRib addiction a few weeks ago and am now delving itno a hagiography of Hickory Farms Beef Stick does not mean that I’m on the American Meat Institute’s payroll. Of course, if anyone from the American Meat Institute is reading this post, I would actually very much like to be on the payroll. Feel free to tweet me up at @ryanbdixon.) And so, dear readers, Fierce and Nerdy is proud to present: ON THE EXEGESIS OF THE SOUL OR: WHY I LOVE BEEF STICK: 2010 REVISED and EXPANDED EDITION with a SLIGHTLY NEW, or more accurately, NEWLY REVISED INTRODUCTION (Which You Just Read)   1: BEEF STICK, LORD OF THE MEMORY PALACE “May I try a free sample?” After speaking those six simple words, the ritual would always be the same: A smiling gray-haired clerk at a Hickory Farms Christmas stand in one of the many Western Pennsylvania malls I visited during my childhood would poke a toothpick into a delicately cut square of meat, hand it to me and the door to paradise would open… I love Hickory Farms Beef Stick. There is a popular dinner party question that goes something like...