Runza is to Nebraska what Apple Pie is to America and for the longest time I desired a Runza to be opened in KC. A few years back I finally got my wish. It was like Christmas in July. No longer did I have to order a dozen frozen Runzas to tide me over until my next trip home. Not only could I get them anytime, hot and fresh as often as I wished, but I could order Runza hamburgers which I’d vote the best in town for restaurants with a drive thru, and they could hold their own with any other sit down restaurant burger in town. Recently I had their Spicy Jack Burger and it was awesome!
But back to Runzas, you see Runzas are those things grandma’s and mom’s use to make before the advent of Fast Food Runza’s. You know back in the “good ole days” when mom’s cooked all day, folded your laundry, and watched soap opera’s. Yes those were the good ole days, but back to Runzas. Before fast food Runza grandma would spend all days making bread dough and then all afternoon stuffing that dough with meat, cabbage, spices, and what ever else she had up her sleeve. Yes I did say cabbage a second ago. I’ll admit if you’ve never had a Runza they don’t sound all that appetizing. I mean cooked cabbage sounds like depression era food, which it was, if you were lucky enough to have a garden, but Runzas take cabbage to a whole nother level. I mean Runzas are so good they can make you brag about cabbage. What other food can do that? So there are few ways Runza has tried to spice up the Runza, there’s the Cheese Runza, the Swiss Cheese & Mushroom Runza, and the Philly Cheese Steak Runza. They use to have an Italian Runza but that may only be in Nebraska still. If you’ve never had a Runza, I’d suggest you just try the original. Its the best there is in my mind. Those other ones just kind of ruin the whole thing for me.
Runzas are native to eastern europe and if you have any Polish, German, Czech, Russian, or Bohemian in your blood then you’ve probably heard of them. If you’re Czech, like me, Runzas rate second only to Kolaches. Now there’s a food item that can make prunes taste good, but I digress. Runzas are the original old school hot pocket, with an infinitely better exterior and interior. The other cool thing about Runzas is they double as hand warmers at football games and are the original self contained to-go item. Considering they took grandma all day to make you didn’t even consider grabbing one and leaving, grandma demanded respect, sit down and eat that boy, and take your hat off too.
Now my biggest complaint about this first KC Runza is their location, sure its somewhat central to things on Johnson Drive a few blocks east of 69 Hwy but I think it limits the frequency of repeat customers and their loyal fanbase that are all over town its just not ideal to head there. I mean what else are you going to do in Mission? Maybe with the Ikea now open at Johnson & I-35 you could make an afternoon of it. If Runza was located in the Legends, Zona Rosa, along south 435, or at 69hwy & 135th the place would be packed. My only other complaint with Runza is they serve Pepsi but hey water is a small price to pay for awesome fast food.
The last thing I want people to know is that they have awesome krinkle fries, which they somehow they get perfect 90% of the time. Throw a little extra salt on those babies and I’m in fry heaven. The only fries in town I like better are at Kansas City Joe’s. So enough of me bragging up Runza but it was only a matter of time before it happened. One insider trick that I think still applies at Runza especially if you become a raving fan that isn’t keen on trips to Mission is that before you leave order up a half dozen frozen Runzas so you can enjoy them at your leisure.