The McRib sandwich is back in the U.S. for a limited 3-week run, McDonald's announced on Monday. McDonald's

McRib fans rejoice! The McDonald's boneless pork barbecue sandwich is back - for three weeks.

Starting on Monday, the fan favorite will be sold at participating restaurants across the U.S., McDonald's announced.

The McRib has an enthusiastic and dedicated fan base . . . and we thank those customers for contributing to our decision to bring back the McRib nationwide in 2011, McDonald's U.S. marketing director Marta Fearon said in a statement.

At the time, we can't speculate on its return in the future but we hope McRib fans will enjoy it now while it lasts, Fearon added.

The McRib, made up of a pork patty smothered in barbecue sauce, pickles and onions served on a toasted hoagie-style bun, was first introduced by McDonald's in 1982.

The sandwich, notorious for never fully staying on the McDonald's menu, has made several returns over the years, teasing fans with multiple McRib Farewell Tours.

Tributes to the McRib have also popped up in multiple television shows, including How I Met Your Mother, The Simpsons (known as the Ribwich) and The Big Bang Theory.

In November 2010, McDonald's brought the McRib back for six weeks, a move that actually increased the company's key sales figure by 4.8 percent, according to the Associated Press. The November return was also the first time the McRib was available nationwide for the first time since 1994.

Following Monday's McRib 2011 announcement, fans have taken to Twitter to express their excitement and love for the sandwich.

Heard the #McRib is coming back. Love that mystery meat goodness, one diner wrote.

At McDonalds about to get our McRib on, wrote another.

The launch of the 2011 McRib will coincide with a digital game called The Quest for the Golden McRib, accessible via McDonald's Facebook page. Fans are encouraged to participate in riddles and challenges brought on by characters like Barbeque-Loving Unicorns and Viking Accountants that will lead them to Golden McRib sandwiches that are hidden in cyberspace.

To celebrate the brief return of the sandwich, here are commercials promoting the McRib's return in 1989 and 2008.

The 2011 McRib return ends on Nov. 14.