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National Dining Car Specials/New Menus (April '17)


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#21 RSG

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 12:45 AM

Oh boy. :rolleyes: There IS ice in the sleepers, for crying out loud in the morning. All you have to do is ask the SCA. And I have had occasions, mainly on the eastern sleepers, where ice was out and available. No need to ask.

Only on the Viewliners is ice available as a self-serve option. Presumably this is because it they have a wet bar set up where it can be kept in a semi-secure environment and is therefore not "exposed" as health codes would define it. On the Superliners it remains a beg-for ask-for item, subject to the whim and memory of the sleeper attendant.

#22 dlagrua

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 08:38 AM

Oh boy. :rolleyes: There IS ice in the sleepers, for crying out loud in the morning. All you have to do is ask the SCA. And I have had occasions, mainly on the eastern sleepers, where ice was out and available. No need to ask.

An optimistic view is always appreciated but we were unable to get ice on Amtrak for at least the last three years. We were able to get it only once on a Cardinal trip.   Drinking warm orange juice is just not the way to go. Yes you can ask the SCA and they are usually good about it but if he/she is busy making up the rooms, you will enjoy a nice warm juice. We now take a cooler with us on all trips. If we have a layover in CHI before the next train leaves we walk 5 blocks to Greektown and pick up a bag of ice at Mariano's to refill.  Ice costs very little to supply.  Denying ice to sleeper passengers is not the way to increase profit.


Edited by dlagrua, 14 April 2017 - 08:38 AM.


#23 niemi24s

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 09:15 AM

Drinking warm orange juice is just not the way to go.

Maybe for you, but that's exactly the way I prefer it.  Like it had just come off the tree.  

 

But it was refreshing to see a thread about Amtrak food go for 12 whole posts before the negatives started to creep in.



#24 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 09:24 AM

 

Step in the wrong direction to me...  the pasta dish is no longer vegetarian so that's one less veggie option. There is no actual fish entree... just the Shrimp. Lots of people eat fish but not shellfish for a variety of reasons. I'm not really sure what I would order on the new menu.... honestly I would probably get a veggie burger for dinner, I may try the shrimp but I doubt I will think it's good enough to want to order it again. 
 
On the previous menu the Cod and the Pasta were pretty good. 

I may not love surf n turf, but it's definitely seen as a higher end option, so it's definitely an overall step in the right direction.

 

I would hesitate to call something offered by Golden Corral and Denny's as a "Higher End Option." 

 

But that really wasn't my point... It's fine if they want to offer shrimp as an entree... but don't make that the only seafood entree and then make the pasta dish non-vegetarian as well. That's extremely limiting for many diets. As long as the Veggie Burger and Entree Salad are available for Dinner service everyone should be able to get something to satisfy though. 


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#25 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 09:47 AM

I have always wondered if a variable in amenities availability is the attitude of the person requesting it. I always get what I ask for, and I always give tips, when I give them, when I disembark, so that's not part of it.
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#26 niemi24s

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 10:51 AM

I would hesitate to call something offered by Golden Corral and Denny's as a "Higher End Option." 

I wouldn't hesitate at all.  Never had anything I'd even call mediocre at either place.  But then, I'm not a food snoot.



#27 seat38a

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 11:03 AM

I swear, whatever Amtrak does to the menu the whining and bitching seems to never stop.  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:



#28 JayPea

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 11:48 AM

I swear, whatever Amtrak does to the menu the whining and bitching seems to never stop.  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:


Some people aren't happy unless they're not happy. ;) I for one am looking forward to the new menu and will get a chance to try out the EB menu next month. Ironically one of the first meals I will be able to partake of is the boxed meal, a very good offering, as I will be departing from Portland.
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#29 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 11:58 AM

I swear, whatever Amtrak does to the menu the whining and bitching seems to never stop.  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:

 

hmm... mentioning how the new menu is more limiting for those of us on special diets is whining and b*ing? 

 

I was pretty content with the past menu.. I would mostly have the Cod for dinner, and if I got tired of it, or they were out, the Vegetarian Pasta Dish was a decent choice. 


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#30 Maglev

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 12:17 PM

I think this new menu is mostly an improvement in terms of more diverse selections for dinner, although it does seem to have limited offerings for those with special diets.  The return of Rail Road French Toast was much needed.  I regret the demise of the spinach salad--spinach is so much more nutritious than romaine lettuce.  The Chicken, Bacon and Cheese Quesadilla was the lunch "special" offered on the Empire Builder in January--I thought this was an extremely unimaginative culinary creation, and I'm surprised it is now on the menu.


Edited by Maglev, 14 April 2017 - 07:58 PM.

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#31 Bjartmarr

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 01:59 PM

Looks like they fired their proofreader. What is "smoke-died chipotle"? And are they calling them "first class meal packages" now?

#32 Rockymtnchris

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 02:51 PM

RE: ice on LD trains...

My diabetic father has been able to get ice on Amtrak by telling staff he needed it for the mini cooler where he stores his insulin. Perhaps someone could try this approach should they run into a reluctant attendant. For my CZ coach trip next week I'm freezing a few bottles of Aarohead water and taking along an insulated "sippy" cup and several flavourings to put in the water I'm keeping in a small insulated collapsible. This should give me cold beverages all the way from Denver to Sacramento. If I want carbonation, I'll drop a tablet of Alka Seltzer into my mixtures.

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#33 AmtrakBlue

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 03:18 PM

RE: ice on LD trains...
My diabetic father has been able to get ice on Amtrak by telling staff he needed it for the mini cooler where he stores his insulin. Perhaps someone could try this approach should they run into a reluctant attendant. For my CZ coach trip next week I'm freezing a few bottles of Aarohead water and taking along an insulated "sippy" cup and several flavourings to put in the water I'm keeping in a small insulated collapsible. This should give me cold beverages all the way from Denver to Sacramento. If I want carbonation, I'll drop a tablet of Alka Seltzer into my mixtures.
tripdrinks_zpshbrbtkvc.jpg

I don't like your suggestion about lying to get ice. If people do this often enough and the SCAs catch in it could mean they'll give diabetics a hard time about getting ice. It equates to people with fake service dogs making it harder for people with real service dogs.

#34 Rockymtnchris

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 03:54 PM

That's exactly why I'm freezing some of my bottles, so I have plenty of ice and cold drinks without imposing on anyone. The only reason I mentioned the diabetic situation at all would be for someone who was up against uncooperative staff after properly making a request for ice. BTW, I happen to work in an industry where we have to deal with the housepet=service/companion animal on an everyday basis and are no longer allowed to question per ADA.


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#35 A Voice

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 04:08 PM

 

I would hesitate to call something offered by Golden Corral and Denny's as a "Higher End Option." 

I wouldn't hesitate at all.  Never had anything I'd even call mediocre at either place.  But then, I'm not a food snoot.

 

 

I particularly like the portion sizes at Golden Corral.   :)

 

 

I swear, whatever Amtrak does to the menu the whining and bitching seems to never stop.  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:

 

hmm... mentioning how the new menu is more limiting for those of us on special diets is whining and b*ing? 

 

I was pretty content with the past menu.. I would mostly have the Cod for dinner, and if I got tired of it, or they were out, the Vegetarian Pasta Dish was a decent choice. 

 

 

No, not at all.  However, the menu selection on a train is necessarily going to be limited, and while you can offer something for everyone, changing one item often comes at the expense of another.  Naturally, some people (and some tastes and diets) are going to prefer certain menu variations over others.  



#36 niemi24s

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 04:18 PM

From your blather in Post #34 it seems you have missed AmtrakBlue's point.  To recap,  the following....

My diabetic father has been able to get ice on Amtrak by telling staff he needed it for the mini cooler where he stores his insulin. Perhaps someone could try this approach should they run into a reluctant attendant.

...advocates lying to an SCA just so you can get some ice to keep your juice box cool.  Totally unacceptable.



#37 Chessie

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 04:27 PM

So ice is not always obtainable?  



#38 PVD

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 04:39 PM

Apparently some people have had trouble at some times because it wasn't immediately available, and they did not wish to wait. Also, there are some attendants that fall short. and while I've never had a problem, and don't believe I've ever seen a person turned down for medical reasons, but that does not mean someone else hasn't. 



#39 KmH

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 04:54 PM

Ice is pretty much always attainable, from one on-train source or another, and without lying.

 

When in a Superliner sleeper, if the TA-SC can't get it for me I get ice, one Amtrak cup full at a time, from the dining car staff and/or the Café Attendant.

In a couple of weeks i'll be in coach for a couple of consecutive nights and will have a small soft-sided cooler with me that I expect I'll be able to get ice for - one Amtrak cup full at a time- from the Café Attendant (LSA-Lounge).


Edited by KmH, 14 April 2017 - 04:55 PM.

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#40 Manny T

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 07:56 PM

Love the fact that in this thread entitled "National Dining Car Specials/New Menus (April '17)" we're up to post #40 and NO ONE has actually sampled any of said specials or has any personal first hand information to report about them.

 

Seems like most of the convo is about ice.

 

But do carry on. Imho this is a hoot.






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