Which is Better – Kolaches or Runzas?
Texas gets many things right, but might be failing when it comes to little bread pocket sandwiches with meat and cheese inside. Runzas are king and we need them here.
If you've traveled to the Midwest, maybe you've visited a Runza restaurant. They're in Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, and Colorado, and if you grew up in one of those states like I did, you know they were in all the mall food courts and on every fast food row right there with McDonald's and Wendy's. My mom made runzas from scratch when I was a kid, and I lived on them in college at the University of Nebraska. Runzas are a handful of gooey, soft greatness, especially if they're dipped in ketchup.
Runzas are bread pockets filled with ground beef and they're usually seasoned with salt, pepper, and cabbage. That's the traditional kind, and then you can get into the cheeseburger runza, Italian runza, Philly style, and other varieties. It's hard to make them just right, so it would be awesome if an ambitious entrepreneur would decide to franchise a Runza restaurant here in East Texas. Sure, we can microwave a Hot Pocket, but it's just not the same. The craving without the ability to satisfy it is a challenge no one needs, and it's precisely why I'll be first in line if a Runza Restaurant comes East Texas.
Kolaches are similar, but since they can be sweet or savory, they seem confused to me like they don't quite know what they want to be when they grow up. Just kidding, kolache lovers! I'm a fan of those too and hit the kolache shop almost every Saturday with the kids. I just have to make up my mind if I'm in the mood for breakfast, lunch, a snack, or dessert before I go because there are kolaches for every occasion.
Runzas are more defined -- always lunchy or dinnery. You'll want to sit down on the couch and have a moment to yourself because it will feel like you're eating an entire pizza all rolled up into your hand. And I suppose that works for breakfast too.