Riding the wave of another smash fast food hit, McDonalds' McRib sandwich has taken over the normally exclusive BBQ restaurant sector, with something you can get in about thirty seconds at a drive through window.
Purists lament the introduction of the McRib, knowing that good BBQ is something that rests gently in a smokehouse and cooks for 12 or more hours before falling off the bone and onto your plate. "It can't be called barbecue if you slap it on a bun and squeeze a little sauce on it", says owner of Mickey's Pit, Mickey Johnson, from Nashville, Tennessee. "But I will have to admit, when you're on the run, that thing is pretty damn good".
Knowing that it is normally difficult to eat real shredded pork with sauce in a car, the McRib holds together and stays relatively clean. "If you wrap it in paper and a napkin, you can eat it while on the road pretty successfully", says Johnson. I tried to market a sandwich to go last year, even put in a drive through window, but damn it, you're just gonna get wet". Johnson's pulled pork is famous state wide and some of the best in the country, but most will admit that you can only eat it while leaning your face well over the table. "There's just no way to stay dry", say Johnson. "And I like it wet, baby".
Other classic BBQ restaurants are seeing a reduction in lunch and dinner crowds as well, admitting that speed is something consumers are starting to prefer over quality. "Not that they have a bad product at all", says Johnson, "But you have to plan a visit to our restaurant, wear the right clothes, and know that you have to head home immediately after to take a shower. Now that's good barbeque".