The biggest news in the fast-food world this week came from Burger King, which revealed that their menus nationwide will soon be getting one new addition: a rib sandwich, the first major competitor to McDonald’s cult hit McRib, which has essentially cornered the pork rib meat patty market. Last night, The Daily meal had the opportunity to see this newest product for ourselves at a special press event, and gave it a taste test.
The differences visually between this sandwich and the McRib are striking: Whereas the McRib is molded to look like a rib of some sort, these are round, or close to it, aside from a few oddly placed ridges. There are also discernible grill marks, and instead of being completely covered in sauce, as the McRib is, the sweet barbecue sauce is drizzled on top of the patty, which also comes topped with sweet bread-and-butter pickles. The bun is of the soft "artisan-style" variety, and it’s nicely toasted.
As for taste, there’s not much here to really complain about. It’s salty, for sure, and the barbecue sauce, whose first ingredient is high-fructose corn syrup, is cloyingly sweet, but the pickle adds a nice crunch. The texture of the gray meat patty is similar to what you’d find in one of their burgers, but it’s porky, smoky, not too greasy, and doesn’t have that "mystery meat" element that the McRib has. The new sandwich spent 10 months in development, according to USA Today, and sold very well in its test market of Shreveport, La. We have a feeling that it’ll sell well nationwide during its limited summer run as well, but it most likely won’t attract the rabid cult following that the McRib somehow has.
If you’re eager to decide for yourself how it compares, you can find one at your local Burger King starting May 21.