Americans who think McDonalds' McRib is a tasty cult classic aren't alone, it seems, as Lotteria's similar リブサンドポーク (“Ribusando”) holds a similar place in the hearts, minds and bellies of Japanese fast-foodies.
Proof of this was demonstrated by Lotteria's 40th anniversary “Hamburger Election”, in which the public was invited to vote for their favorite Lotteria burger of all time... or at least since 1972, when the first three Tokyo franchise stores opened.
After the votes were tallied, the hands-down winner was the Ribusando, first offered back in 1984. The formed-meat McRib clone narrowly beat out the nostalgic Hot Italian burger, which couldn't parley the perceived benefit of being on the menu when the first stores opened 40 long years ago.
Voters who pulled for the pulled-pork-inspired creation will, much like McRib-lovers in the USA, have but a limited time in which to enjoy the cult classic: from Thursday, July 5th until the end of September 2012. Pig out while you can, peeps!
McRib maniacs who find themselves in Japan this summer will find much to like in Lotteria's Ribusando... but they'll note a few differences as well. For one thing, the McRib is a comparatively minimalist meal: there's just meat, barbeque sauce, pickles and onions between the buns.
The somewhat smaller Ribusando's got all that except the onions, which might be why store managers are sticking signs on their menu boards that recommend the sandwich for women. Lotteria's recipe also adds lettuce, black pepper, soy sauce and mayonnaise to the mix, though you'll be lucky if you get more than two cross-cut pickle slices. But hey, why quibble, it's a McRi... er, a Ribusando!
Lotteria has priced the resurrected Ribusando at 390 yen including tax (about $5 in greenbacks) and remember, they'll only be sold through the end of September when Lotteria sez “Thththat's all, fffolks!” (via Gigazine)