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The McRib is (almost) back! Now, let's read the fine print

November 13, 2009 |  9:39 am

Mcdonalds Hey, Southern Californians, if you're in the mood for a patty made from pork, water, salt, sugar (dextrose to be exact) and a few preservatives -- a.k.a. a McRib sandwich from your local Golden Arches outlet -- you're in luck. Or soon will be. This just in:

"Featuring a boneless pork rib patty topped with pickles, onions and tangy BBQ sauce served on a fresh bakery roll, the legendary sandwich, which has not been available to customers in Southern California since 2006, will be offered on the menu for a limited time at participating McDonald’s restaurants. ..."

This was too good to resist. We had to check out the nutritional information. The upshot: 500 calories per sandwhich, 26 grams of fat and 980 milligrams of sodium. To be fair, it's a better bet in some ways than the Premium Crispy Chicken Club Sandwich, with 630 calories, 28 grams of fat, and 1,360 milligrams of salt.

That's not to say healthful food can't be had. It can. So, please, choose wisely. The Southwest Salad With Grilled Chicken seems like a fairly smart choice -- unless you're watching your sodium. And you should be. (More on sodium as it relates to blood pressure, food, labels, etc.) And salads are less likely to be ordered with a honking huge side of fries. A large size has 500 calories of its own. (We will not discuss the McFlurry.)

For help in making smart choices when eating fast food, here's some basic advice from

And for the nitty-gritty on menu options at chain restaurants, fast-food and otherwise (all conveniently compiled in one place), there's It's fascinating stuff. ...

Still, we're left wondering ...

"Legendary sandwich"?

-- Tami Dennis

Photo: Make good choices. They're available.

Credit: Christine Cotter / Los Angeles Times