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what's up with CONO meals


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#1 cassie225

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 09:13 AM

went to memphis from hammond on CONO, Harold at station was great,loved the upstairs on the train. Viewing car was awesome,was thinking about taking it to Chicago in a sleeper,not roomette,too small, but once i saw the food menu!!! Whats up with that? Im usually on the Crescent and meals are pretty good. Saw the CONO menu, are they for real?



#2 Bob Dylan

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 09:21 AM

went to memphis from hammond on CONO, Harold at station was great,loved the upstairs on the train. Viewing car was awesome,was thinking about taking it to Chicago in a sleeper,not roomette,too small, but once i saw the food menu!!! Whats up with that? Im usually on the Crescent and meals are pretty good. Saw the CONO menu, are they for real?

Unfortunately during Boardman's "End of Watch" idiotic Nickel and Dime cuts, the Chef position was eliminated on the CONO and a Heat and Eat Limited Menu was implemented!😣
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#3 PVD

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 09:38 AM

The sad part of it is that heat and eat can be good, if you want it to be..... Acela FC, and most airline int'l FC are pretty good. The CONO was about eliminating a job, and cheapening the product at the same time.



#4 Train2104

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 10:11 AM

The sad part of it is that heat and eat can be good, if you want it to be..... Acela FC, and most airline int'l FC are pretty good. The CONO was about eliminating a job, and cheapening the product at the same time.

 

Don't the Lake Shore Limited and Cardinal use the same setup as the CONO? From what I've heard those two trains have far better food service than the CONO.


Edited by Train2104, 07 September 2017 - 10:11 AM.


#5 Bob Dylan

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 10:44 AM


The sad part of it is that heat and eat can be good, if you want it to be..... Acela FC, and most airline int'l FC are pretty good. The CONO was about eliminating a job, and cheapening the product at the same time.

 
Don't the Lake Shore Limited and Cardinal use the same setup as the CONO? From what I've heard those two trains have far better food service than the CONO.
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#6 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 10:53 AM

The sad part of it is that heat and eat can be good, if you want it to be..... Acela FC, and most airline int'l FC are pretty good. The CONO was about eliminating a job, and cheapening the product at the same time.

 

I agree with you that trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific first class flights have better meals than Amtrak. The fact that an aircraft which is halfway across the Pacific Ocean can provide food that is noticeably better than a train passing through a large city is kind of crazy to me.


Edited by Devil's Advocate, 07 September 2017 - 10:55 AM.

We've got provisions and lots of beer. The key word is survival on the new frontier. 


#7 PVD

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 11:04 AM

I don't know about the Card, but I don't believe the LSL eliminated the chef, just made the temp switch in prep due to lack of diner availability.

Acela FC is pretty good, which proves it can be done.


Edited by PVD, 07 September 2017 - 11:23 AM.


#8 Bob Dylan

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 11:27 AM

I don't know about the Card, but I don't believe the LSL eliminated the chef, just made the temp switch in prep due to lack of diner availability.

Correct as the NY Section of the LSL usually has the Diner, when available. The Boston Section feeds the Sleeping Car Passengers in the Cafe Car.

The Card has a Diner Lite with No Chef. One person serves as LSA,Server,Cook and Buser!This is the Model the CONO now uses in its CCC(Diner).
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#9 PVD

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 11:45 AM

I wasn't 100% sure about the temporary staffing in the LSL. I've only boarded at Chicago, NYP or Albany and have not ridden the diner-lite version. I'll probably experience it early November coming home from Dallas. Outbound I'm on the CL/NER for the Chicago leg, not LSL.



#10 Maverickstation

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 05:32 PM

The LSL and The Cardinal also have the heat and eat menu, but in a more robust form than the CONO.

 

The CONO has the double whammy of the heat and eat menu, AND very limited offerings, the south bound "express dinner"being the worst.

 

We were on the Ocean last week from Montreal to Halifax, and while their food comes from a caterer, it is reheated on board, plated on board, and served by a full diner staff.

 

Ken  


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#11 Dakota 400

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 06:08 PM

The LSL and The Cardinal also have the heat and eat menu, but in a more robust form than the CONO.

 

The CONO has the double whammy of the heat and eat menu, AND very limited offerings, the south bound "express dinner"being the worst.

 

We were on the Ocean last week from Montreal to Halifax, and while their food comes from a caterer, it is reheated on board, plated on board, and served by a full diner staff.

 

Ken  

 

And what you posted on the VIA Rail Message Board looked very good.



#12 Skyline

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 11:22 PM

The LSL and The Cardinal also have the heat and eat menu, but in a more robust form than the CONO.

 

The CONO has the double whammy of the heat and eat menu, AND very limited offerings, the south bound "express dinner"being the worst.

 

We were on the Ocean last week from Montreal to Halifax, and while their food comes from a caterer, it is reheated on board, plated on board, and served by a full diner staff.

 

Ken  

Despite the catered food, the Ocean is far better than Amtrak. I wish it wasn't so...



#13 the_traveler

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 10:23 AM

What people forget (or don't want to remember) is that except for items like cooked to order eggs or steak, EVERY meal on EVERY train is pre-made and just reheated in a convection oven and plated by the chef! Almost nothing's actually prepared onboard.
Take it easy .......

Take the train instead and enjoy the ride!

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#14 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 11:51 AM

What people forget (or don't want to remember) is that except for items like cooked to order eggs or steak, EVERY meal on EVERY train is pre-made and just reheated in a convection oven and plated by the chef! Almost nothing's actually prepared onboard.

 

Yes, but the same limitations exist for long haul aircraft on foreign airlines and yet they've found a way to serve tasty and attractive meals in premium cabins on intercontinental flights.  It honestly boggles my mind that a train passing through a major city struggles to provide quality meals when an aircraft flying miles above the Pacific Ocean can manage it.  As pointed out above, VIA provides a better culinary experience on board their regional trains than Amtrak can manage on their long haul routes.  I'm sure some of this is due to Mica's meddling and Shuster's scapegoating, but I don't think that explains all of it.


Edited by Devil's Advocate, 09 September 2017 - 11:54 AM.

We've got provisions and lots of beer. The key word is survival on the new frontier. 


#15 Manny T

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 01:18 PM

My standard operating procedure is to eat dinner in a restaurant in Chicago between say 5-7 PM and return to Union Station to board CONO departing at 805 pm. Problem solved.



#16 PVD

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 05:13 PM

It is a simple function of what you really want to provide. Over the years many of the large companies I routinely visited on business had staff food service. 2-3 companies did 90% of the catering. They ranged from slop to exceptional. Companies decided what they wanted to provide, and the degree to which they were willing to subsidize the costs if they wanted to keep prices down and quality up. .



#17 dogbert617

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 11:14 PM

The LSL and The Cardinal also have the heat and eat menu, but in a more robust form than the CONO.

 

The CONO has the double whammy of the heat and eat menu, AND very limited offerings, the south bound "express dinner"being the worst.

 

We were on the Ocean last week from Montreal to Halifax, and while their food comes from a caterer, it is reheated on board, plated on board, and served by a full diner staff.

 

Ken  

What are the differences, between the southbound and northbound CONO food menu offerings? And what is better about how the LSL and Cardinal, handle doing a diner lite style menu? Good to see this post, since I'll be sure to bring some of my own food on board if I eventually do an Amtrak trip to Memphis.

 

And a side question, are there any hidden gem places in Mississippi that'd be worth a train trip to? I.e. Greenwood, Jackson, etc.? Sometimes I've wondered if Jackson, MS is worth visiting, but who knows.



#18 Maverickstation

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 06:23 AM

 

The LSL and The Cardinal also have the heat and eat menu, but in a more robust form than the CONO.

 

The CONO has the double whammy of the heat and eat menu, AND very limited offerings, the south bound "express dinner"being the worst.

 

We were on the Ocean last week from Montreal to Halifax, and while their food comes from a caterer, it is reheated on board, plated on board, and served by a full diner staff.

 

Ken  

What are the differences, between the southbound and northbound CONO food menu offerings? And what is better about how the LSL and Cardinal, handle doing a diner lite style menu? Good to see this post, since I'll be sure to bring some of my own food on board if I eventually do an Amtrak trip to Memphis.

 

And a side question, are there any hidden gem places in Mississippi that'd be worth a train trip to? I.e. Greenwood, Jackson, etc.? Sometimes I've wondered if Jackson, MS is worth visiting, but who knows.

 

 

Read the menus on amtrak.com, the CONO has different Southbound and Northbound menus, and you will see the very limited Express Dinner menu served on the Southbound

CONO.

 

The LSL and The Card have a wider variety of menu items, in particular for dinner and breakfast.

 

Ken     


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#19 Bob Dylan

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 07:32 AM

Mississippi, the "Magnolia,State", has some neat places like Viksburg and Natchez along the River,but the Delta is very poor and not pretty.

The Coast and Tunica (South of Memphis) is "Redneck Vegas" and Jackson isn't anything special for a State Capital.

Louisiana has a lot more interesting places and scenery IMO.
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#20 tonys96

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 04:55 PM

Vicksburg has a really neat evening "ghost tour" that you can take in an old remodeled hearse. Through Civil War battlegrounds and walking in downtown on streets lighted with old gas lamps. Pretty cool!


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