That’s what I thought too when our friend Kellen suggested that I add a search for a “Runza” to my foodless Nebraska leg. I had images of being pretty hungry to eat the spiny 7 legged Runza, but I planned to try one and curse Kellen’s name as I crunched on the horrid carapace and got graphic photographs.
This was a good sign. My first Runza was not stored away frozen in a Nebraska storm cellar. Apparently, these Runzas were popular and advertized. Folks must like them enough if they needed a drive through and ordered them “fast-food” style.
A quick, ethical-gut-check: ”Weazel out and count seeing a Runza as a victory so I can order a burger?” No, couldn’t do it. Runza, ordered.
So before we unveil the Runza, what the heck is it? I asked Jeff Whiting, the local Gothenburg, NE franchisee.
Is that enough build-up? Now, the “UnVeil.”
So how was it? First of all, thanks Kellen for mentioning a Runza on the Smart Kitchen Facebook Page, apparently, such things really exist and are extremely fabulous tasting in rural Nebraska when your last meal was the previous day’s breakfast 30 hours ago and three states away.
The Runza is something like an un-sloppy joe on a terrific fresh, soft torpedo roll. It is a local German sandwich variant with local ground beef (Kansas & Nebraska), cabbage , and cheese, according to Jeff Whiting the local franchisee of the 86 unit Runza chain. If you have had a Made-Right sandwich in Iowa, a Runza is similar but moister and not square. I believe that a Runza is actually a riff on a “bierogie”, the German word for a “pierogie.”
How did it taste? Let’s just say that either I enjoyed mine so much or was that hungry that I forgot to video it or snap a shot of it. I actually had to buy a second one, (can anyone spell Freud?) for the photo seen here.
The Runza chain started in Lincoln, NE and some of the fun is the rural, heartland setting in which the Runza is served. The drive-thru (rural welding truck) or the parking lot (tractor and irrigation canal) are very different from home.
If you happen to be in Nebraska try and stop in to sample what might soon become the “In-N-Out” of the Plains. If you stop in at the Gothenburg location, see Jeff and don’t miss the Pony Express Capital of Nebraska.
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