Photo from the Runza Restaurant web site.
The Runza Sandwich is also called Bierocks. They are a yeast dough (a bread pocket) with a filling of beef, cabbage or sauerkraut, onions, and seasonings.
They are baked in various shapes like half-moon, rectangle, round, square, triangle, etc. The Official Nebraska Runza is always baked in a rectangular shape, and the Bierocks of Kansas are baked in the shape of a bun.
If you travel in Nebraska, you will find eateries called “runza” – sometimes a place name, often the specialty of the house.
In 1949, Sarah “Sally” Everett and her brother, Alex Brening, opened the first Runza Drive-Inn in Lincoln, Nebraska. The trade name and trademark of Runza Restaurants now belong to Donald R. Everett, Sarah’s son.
Both the Bierock and the Runza sandwich have German-Russian roots going back to the 18th century. This unique recipe was passed down from one generation to the next, eventually finding its way to the Midwest of America and particularly to the states of Kansas and Nebraska (but with different names). Originally the Bierocks were served to the field workers for lunch. Today Bierocks are enjoyed any time and can be found at just about every church fund-raiser in the Kansas area.