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Runza brings couples together. 

Gowri Chandra
February 02, 2018

So apparently Runza, the Nebraska burger chain, is the best-kept matchmaking spot in the state. It’s where Ben Thornburg, who worked at Runza in high school, asked a girl to a school dance. (Specifically, he used the restaurant’s message board to read: “Jenna Lower — Homecoming?”) She’s now his wife, and they celebrated their wedding at Runza, where Thornburg slipped a fried onion ring on her finger, according to The Omaha World Herald.

The restaurant was their casual go-to date spot after they started dating, to the point of having their own table there. Because you can’t really reserve tables since it’s a fast-food spot, they’d just wait around for it to open up. It was a special thing. Runza sandwiches became the Proustian madeleine of their romance—just as fast food occupies so much collective nostalgia for all of us.

Last month when Ben and Jenna got married, they featured cheese Runzas at their wedding, as delightfully reported in The World-Herald. The namesake creations are kind of like sub sandwiches, if you pinched together the sides so the whole thing is enclosed like Hot Pocket. Inside is warm ground beef with cabbage (the cabbage isn’t really prominent, for you cabbage haters), mixed with gooey American cheese. Love at first bite.

Ben and Jenna closed the Runza loop by stopping at the chain after the ceremony, where Ben put an onion ring on Jenna’s finger. (She also had a traditional diamond ring—the lady has requirements.) That is our kind of nuptial.

Three other couples have also met while working at his store alone, according to managing partner Wayne Wilson. Apparently, there’s something about the place that leads to romance, he says.

So, for all of us who will be eating our feelings this Valentine’s Day: keep your eyes peeled in that drive through line. Because you seriously NEVER KNOW.

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