Sunday, August 05, 2007

A Runza Classic -- Jim's View

[Edited slightly now, from JIM'S LITTLE BLOG of January 24, 2006 (link)]

A dilemma of sorts

We are headed to the Midwest and expect to be in Center Point, Iowa, this Friday. That is 16 miles northwest of Cedar Rapids.

That isn't the dilemma. Our situation coming up this time is that we won't be able to get Runzas on the way. There is one Runza Hut at Lawrence, Kansas. That is six hours from Center Point. We may hang around there until it opens as Lawrence is on I-35 before Kansas City.

The 1st Runza® Drive Inn opened in Lincoln, Nebraska, in about 1949. [Founded by Sally Everett and her brother, Alex Brening.] During the first three of the eleven years that I was a college dropout I got to know Lincoln pretty good. I discovered the Runza Hut near Pioneer Park in the early fifties. It was one of those little drive-up, not drive-in, restaurants with a window in front for to go orders. Or a person could go inside to eat. There were some picnic benches for eating the to go orders outside. We got ours to go, I ate inside only once, on a rainy day.

My favorite is the Runza, or Runza sandwich as they are now called. According to the menu, "Runza® Sandwiches are made by hand and baked fresh, everyday. A Runza® Sandwich is a delicious blend of fresh ground beef, onions and special spices all baked inside homemade bread." Mrs. Jim has a recipe Mom gave her for these from the Omaha World Herald , it uses some cooked cabbage. I had always thought the store model did too until I just read this menu.

On the way home, we will load up with Runzas for the all the kids in the Houston area. They only eat Runzas when I go to a Runza Restaurant and bring some back. I have never had enough Runzas to allow me to try their hamburgers or other. Their fries are good, we have had clam chowder and it was really good. But always a Runza also.

Of course they give a senior discount of ten percent. Be sure to ask. The place in Wahoo, Nebraska, won't give their discount for take-outs. Go to Blair, Nebraska, if you can. They are also located in many other Nebraska towns, with a lot being in Omaha and Lincoln.

I consider Runzas to be the Nebraska State Food.

Do you have
a Runza story?

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