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Nebraska Discoveries 9: Runza

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Nebraska Discoveries 9: Runza


Tonight for dinner, we went out.  It tends to be a necessity 1-2 times per week in the fall while the boys are in soccer 5-days per week (Jacob 3 days, Timmy 2).  I do what I can to cook but it's rather aggressive; when I do cook I try to get the dinner on the table at 5:30pm, the boys have to be finished with dinner by about 5:50pm.

I asked the boys "Where would you like to go?"  We have several choices between our house and Jacob's practice field.  I had suggested a family favorite, Jimmy John's, but Jacob had a roast beef sandwich for lunch and said he didn't want another one for dinner.  Since roast beef is the only kind of deli meat he eats.  Sigh...

We ended up at a local restaurant called "Runza".  It's a chain throughout Nebraska (the first one opening in Lincoln, NE in 1949), with a couple of additional stores in Iowa, Kansas and Colorado.  It's quite good, a fun fast food alternative to your typical hamburger joint.  Definitely not the healthiest option, so we'll go there 3-4 times per year.  Jacob LOVES Runza sandwiches!  The kids' meal isn't enough now, we get him an adult-sized combo meal!

Fortunately, they also sell hamburgers so Timmy doesn't mind going either.

So...what's so great about this Runza place?  Well, Runza restaurants feature these unique sandwiches: a seasoned blend of ground beef, onion and cabbage sealed in a special bread.  Cheese optional.

Today I made a cool "Nebraska Discovery".  Runza is not only the name of this restaurant chain, but it's also the name of the sandwich featured there.  It came to the Americas via "Volga German" immigrants.  If you do a Wikipedia search for "Runza", you're presented a choice: Do you want to learn about the sandwich itself, or the restaurant chain with the same name?

I'm not going to regurgitate what you guys could click on and read for yourselves regarding the history, but I thought it was pretty darned cool.

PS: Our local Runza puts a package of Silly Bandz-like bracelets in the Kids' Meals! Whoo hoo!

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