Sunday, February 1, 2009

Picture a Day - Day 60

Wow, I've now been doing the picture thing for two months. And in celebration I thought I'd let all you non Nebraskans in on a little secret.

Okay you have to promise to not go blabbing this as we don't tell just anybody, only our nearest and dearest.

We have all throughout the state a "Fast food restaurant" with green roofs and yellow walls called Runza. Only it's nothing like your typical McDonalds, or Burger King, or you know that other hamburger place Long Johns.

The other places may claim that they never freeze their beef, but you know that it's true with Runza. It's like getting a homemade hamburger with some horribly addictive flavor added in.This was my tasty meal last night (Runza fries also hold a special place in my heart. Ooh crinkle cut). It wasn't til we were dating that my Chicago born and raised husband learned about the joys of a Runza hamburger.

But I am sure you are asking yourself just what the hell is a Runza? Well that's the other side of things that makes Runza special. If you are ever in Nebraska be sure to stop by and I'll introduce you to a Runza.
Mr. Runza is a golden pocket bread that is stuffed to the gills with seasoned grounded beef, onions and cabbage. It's an original German recipe that every cafeteria I have ever eaten in in this state has mimicked.

There are a multitude of different Runzas one can try as well, from a BLT to a Swiss and Mushroom.

But there is one mythical Runza. It can cause rioting and chaos in the street every few years when it is reintroduced. It's like eating a warm and gooey pizza all wrapped up in tasty bread.

I speak of course of the Italian Runza.

For our wedding we decided to feed all of our Bridesmaids and groomsmen our tasty Nebraska secret. I carefully took everyones orders (all the Nebraska side generally knew what they want) but just as we were pulling up a cloud lifted and a shaft of light shone down upon a sign "The Italians were back!"

Naturally I had to call everyone back and tell them of this, and of course we all changed our orders and got one. You don't get a much better sign and symbol on your wedding day than having the Italian Runzas come back.

Well if there's one thing I hope you've all learned from my ramblings it's that if you ever visit Nebraska and stop bye to say hi, expect a dinner of pocket bread goodness.

Does anyone else have a local secret that no other tourists would ever suspect?


valerie said...

So, since you asked, I feel like Knoxville's secret is Tomato Head. They recently opened a restaurant in my hometown about 30 minutes south of Knoxville, but whatever, haha.

Tomato Head is a godsend for vegans and vegetarians in Knoxville. They have some awesome offerings of sandwiches, pizzas, salads, burritos, breakfast foods, pies, cakes, cookies, etc. It's all organic, local if they can find it, homecooked stuff.

Seriously, they have the best pesto I have ever tasted in my entire life. Homemade corn salsa. The best baked tofu ever. Yum.

We wanted Tomato Head to cater our wedding, but time just ran out and we couldn't get it all worked out (and it would have been ridiculous expensive too).

If you're ever intrigued:

They've got a lot of meat offerings too. Free farmed chicken, beef, lamb, veal, sausage, all that sort of business, but I avoid that.

Linda said...

We don't have many local secrets. We like to sell them to the world-Starbucks for example.
I do love a good hamburger.

melissa said...

Argh!! I am soooo jealous of you right now. Swiss and Mushroom for me. I would die for a Runza. Maybe not die but I would consider something else drastic. When I was in NE for the holidays we ate there 4 times over the course of a week. This was also with fitting in 3 different Christmas dinners. My fiance still doesn't understand the draw. I try to make my own at home, but it just isn't the same.

Anonymous said...

There's nothing really all the unique about food here. There are so many cultures present in my city that it's just a mashing of everything, so take your pick!

I would say that those look good, but I can't eat anything that you posted in the pictures. (I'm allergic to gluten/wheat and I don't eat beef.) But I guess if I ever came to Nebraska, then it would mean more of those things for you! :)

Leslie said...

I'm glad that your husband converted and loves Runza. As with most things, Brian won't eat it. Anyway, the one closest to your place has the very best fries I've found anywhere (the ones in Wayne are not even close). Your post made me HUNGRY!! Though, most things do anymore....