Stage 1: Confusion. The Runza is food built for eating behind the wheel, in that it's self-contained, courtesy of a soft, torpedo-shaped bun encasement. But things get a little murkier once you bite into it. There are elements of White Castle, Hi-Boy and the Kolache Factory coming together in one sandwich. The first bite is sweet from the bun and comes with a bit of a cabbage-y aftertaste.
Stage 2: Commitment. When dealing with any new food category, it's important to resist judging it until the final bite, in the same fashion that a new beer deserves to have the entire bottle to impress you. So I set my jaws to chew and attempted to give the Runza sandwich a fair shake.
Stage 3: Enthusiasm. Several bites in, and I was happy. The sandwich had elements of sweet and salty, and I was beginning to understand the legion of Runza fanatics. Then I got to the unmelty part of the American cheese, and I lost some heart.
Stage 4: Bewilderment. I confess that the heel of my Runza didn't make it out of the paper wrapping. I made it about two-thirds of the way through, and one intensely cabbage-y bite had me rethinking the entire proposition. I realize that I'm judging the sandwich before its last bite, but had I finished, I can say with certainty that I'd never be pulling back through the drive-through.
Stage 5: Gentle Letdown. Let's just say it was I, not you, Runza. I think I wasn't ready for whatever it is that you're throwing down inside that meat pocket. Perhaps we can find common ground in another six months. I might even like you on Facebook.