As the weather outside turns from "autumnal" to "miserable chilly wasteland," there's no better way to comfort yourself than by chowing down on greasy, questionably-healthy pork product. I know this. You know this. Most importantly, McDonald's knows this, which is why the company has brought back the McRib sandwich once again. Forget pumpkin everything — this is a culinary cult classic everyone can get behind (granted they aren't a vegetarian, of course).
Last week, CNN Money spotted a "coming soon" McRib page on McDonald's corporate website, and a spokesperson for the fast food giant later confirmed to CNN that the beloved sandwich would hit menus once again for its 35th anniversary this year. As of Thursday, Nov. 2, the McRib will roll out at participating locations over the next few days, with southern California stores already serving it to the masses. So if the idea of a barbecue-slathered pork patty on a bun makes your mouth water, you can start hunting down the sandwich this very minute.
The only catch? Getting your hands on one might take some detective work. McDonald's hasn't released a list of exact locations where the McRib will be available, and according to Thrillist, the company announced that the sandwich will only launch in restaurants where it has sold well in the past. Here's hoping your neighbors are as big on the tangy fan favorite as you are.
For the uninitiated, the sandwich consists of a boneless pork patty shaped to look like it contains ribs. (In 2009, the director of McDonald's U.S. supply chain at the time told Maxim that the entire process from fresh pork to frozen, rib-shaped patty takes "about 45 minutes.") This product is then plopped onto a hoagie-style bun and drenched in signature barbecue sauce. Finally, the whole shebang is topped with onions and pickles. A word to the wise: Don't forget your breath mints when you order one.
It may be an icon among McDonald's enthusiasts these days, but back when it was first created, the sandwich didn't sell particularly well. In fact, it was pulled from stores three years after its release in 1982. Since then, though, it has popped up on menus nationwide at random times and locations, making it the Bigfoot of the fast food world. Unfortunately for rib devotees, it's always yanked away again — unless you live in Germany, the only country that serves it all year long. In the United States, the McRib hasn't been spotted since last December.
Thrillist reports that customers in New York, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and New Mexico have posted about the McRib's 2017 comeback on social media, and stores in southern California and Hawaii have officially announced its temporary return. But while that technically narrows down the search, there are tons of McDonald's locations in each state. How are you supposed to know which one sells the beloved sandwich without embarking on a McRoadTrip?
The Internet has got you covered. For one thing, McDonald's offers an official McRib Finder app for iOS and Android devices. True to its name, the app helps you find locations that sell the sandwich, and true devotees can use McRib-themed stickers to illustrate their enthusiasm. Fans of the cult classic have also created an unofficial McRib Locator website, which relies on users to report sightings around the country. It's only as accurate as the information reported, of course, but other users can confirm or dispute the sightings as they roll in. McRibs are, after all, serious business.
Given that the McRib has never stuck around for very long, it may disappear soon. If you're an avowed McRib lover or simply curious about all the hubbub, you may want to start your search before the sandwich vanishes from menus once again.