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Meals on long distance routes.


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#1 Guest_Terry_*

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 05:02 PM

Are the diner meals on ld routes prepared from scratch or they prepared before
hand then heated and served, like airplane meals?

#2 ParanoidAndroid

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Posted 09 January 2018 - 06:44 PM

Usually prepared beforehand, except steaks and omelettes (maybe a couple other things too), which are cooked to order.
Everything on the Cardinal, Lake Shore Limited, and City of New Orleans is microwaved (or convection ovened), but it's still pretty good if done right.
I have ridden Cascades #516 (SEA-STW), Coast Starlight #14 (LAX-SLO), Southwest Chief #4 (LAX-CHI), Cardinal #50 (CHI-NYP), Northeast Regional #85 (NYP-WAS), Capitol Limited #30 (HFY-WAS), Coast Starlight #14 (LAX-PDX), and many Pacific Surfliners with Amtrak. I have seen, including the previous, California Zephyr #5 at SAC (with luck), what I guess to be Crescent #19 (at WAS) and Silver Meteor #97 (at WAS), and Empire Builder #28 at PDX. I have also ridden the Hokutosei in Japan, Ueno - Sapporo (now discontinued).

#3 KleShreen

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 01:45 PM

On this topic, if you have a sleeper and therefore your meals are included in your fare, what does that include? Are there certain things you can and can't pick as part of your meal that is paid for with your fare?



#4 Rail Freak

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 01:52 PM

Everything on the menu is included except adult beverages!


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#5 the_traveler

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 04:40 PM

Included items are:

Breakfast - any breakfast on the menu, juice, drink (coffee, tea, etc...), a side order of meat (bacon or sausage) if desired

Lunch - any lunch on the menu, if a burger you can also get cheese and/or bacon if desired, drink (coffee, etc...), dessert

Dinner - any dinner on the menu, side salad (you may have to ask for it), drink (coffee, etc...), dessert

Sometimes the side salads are automatically put on the table by the server, but sometimes you have to ask for it specifically. What I do many times if I do not want it, but I am seated with somebody from coach, is to order it and then give it to them! (They would have to pay $3 for it.) I also sometimes do the same with dessert!

Alcoholic drinks (beer, wine, etc...) are always extra.
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#6 Bob Dylan

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 04:43 PM

Also,depending on the Server/LSA, you can sometimes order from the "Kiddie Menu", which can be a Hot Dog( they used to be better with the Pretzel Bun) or Mac and Cheese!
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#7 KmH

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 05:03 PM

Included items are:

Breakfast - any breakfast on the menu, juice, drink (coffee, tea, etc...), a side order of meat (bacon or sausage) if desired

Lunch - any lunch on the menu, if a burger you can also get cheese and/or bacon if desired, drink (coffee, etc...), dessert

Dinner - any dinner on the menu, side salad (you may have to ask for it), drink (coffee, etc...), dessert

Sometimes the side salads are automatically put on the table by the server, but sometimes you have to ask for it specifically. What I do many times if I do not want it, but I am seated with somebody from coach, is to order it and then give it to them! (They would have to pay $3 for it.) I also sometimes do the same with dessert!

Alcoholic drinks (beer, wine, etc...) are always extra.

Juice & Coffee can be had with breakfast, probably coffee, juice &milk too but I've never done that.

A side salad can also be had with lunch and I've had 2 cans of soda with lunch too.

Dinner includes a roll. I sometimes had them substitute rice for the baked potato or the vegetables.


1963 U. S. Congress - underground trolley system Disneyland train (1968/various other dates) Old Tucson steam train (1969)
Amtrak - California Zephyr Coast Starlight  Southwest Chief Sunset Limited Texas Eagle  Illinois Zephyr
. . . . Amtrak miles - 16,383, so far. 7,320 more miles booked OTM - OKJ - EMY - OTM March 2018.


#8 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 05:07 PM

Steak is stocked frozen and then cooked to order.  Eggs are stocked fresh but are not cooked to order.  Potatoes are stocked fresh and then baked on board.  To the best of my knowledge everything else is cooked and/or prepared somewhere else and then simply warmed again before serving.


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#9 ehbowen

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 06:30 PM

If you're having an entree salad for lunch or dinner there is usually a protein (chicken breast or salmon fillet) which can be added upon request inclusive with your sleeper passenger meal.


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#10 KleShreen

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Posted 10 January 2018 - 11:33 PM

Included items are:

Breakfast - any breakfast on the menu, juice, drink (coffee, tea, etc...), a side order of meat (bacon or sausage) if desired

Lunch - any lunch on the menu, if a burger you can also get cheese and/or bacon if desired, drink (coffee, etc...), dessert

Dinner - any dinner on the menu, side salad (you may have to ask for it), drink (coffee, etc...), dessert

Sometimes the side salads are automatically put on the table by the server, but sometimes you have to ask for it specifically. What I do many times if I do not want it, but I am seated with somebody from coach, is to order it and then give it to them! (They would have to pay $3 for it.) I also sometimes do the same with dessert!

Alcoholic drinks (beer, wine, etc...) are always extra.

Thank you! That is good to hear!



#11 caravanman

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 10:37 AM

I can't remember the breakfast item name, but I recall that I was unable to pick and choose my omelette items, I assume it came as a pre-made mix in some way.

 

Ed



#12 KmH

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 11:39 AM

It was my understanding eggs come onboard already scrambled and then are cooked as omelets or scrambled eggs.

Being already scrambled they take up lots less space and it aids portion control.


1963 U. S. Congress - underground trolley system Disneyland train (1968/various other dates) Old Tucson steam train (1969)
Amtrak - California Zephyr Coast Starlight  Southwest Chief Sunset Limited Texas Eagle  Illinois Zephyr
. . . . Amtrak miles - 16,383, so far. 7,320 more miles booked OTM - OKJ - EMY - OTM March 2018.


#13 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 11:42 AM

I can't remember the breakfast item name, but I recall that I was unable to pick and choose my omelette items, I assume it came as a pre-made mix in some way.

 

I believe the combination egg dishes (quesadilla, chilaquiles, omelets, etc.) are back to using commercial egg mix again.  The generic scrambled egg option supposedly uses real eggs, but you still cannot have them made to order, which somewhat defeats the purpose of stocking fresh eggs.


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#14 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 11:53 AM

When I was auto-defrosting frozen potatoes in the microwave (to go with my microwave poached eggs), my kitchen had a lovely smell that reminded me of something--oh, yes, the long-distance dining car! Have I found out their secret to cooking potatoes? :P



#15 KmH

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 04:24 PM

For omelets on LD trains like the CZ we get to choose cheddar, jack or no cheese, if we want guacamole, and if we want egg subsitute.

I bet if one asked, the green peppers and red onions could be left out.

 

Also served with the omelet is a side of tomato salsa.

We get to choose between roasted potatoes or grits too.

 

I've been disappointed with the potatoes enough times that now I get the grits instead.


Edited by KmH, 11 January 2018 - 04:25 PM.

1963 U. S. Congress - underground trolley system Disneyland train (1968/various other dates) Old Tucson steam train (1969)
Amtrak - California Zephyr Coast Starlight  Southwest Chief Sunset Limited Texas Eagle  Illinois Zephyr
. . . . Amtrak miles - 16,383, so far. 7,320 more miles booked OTM - OKJ - EMY - OTM March 2018.


#16 Lonestar648

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Posted 11 January 2018 - 09:47 PM

It would be easy to send a pouch of scrambled eggs to be opened, then the cook can ladle out one ladle per egg. At the restaurant, we used to make up batches of 140 or so dozen eggs in big containers for the day's scrambled eggs, which was used not just for scrambled eggs, but for omelets and French Toast. Amtrak could send prepared mix, all fresh, to be used accordingly. This summer, the omlets were definitely cooked elsewhere with a few toppings thrown on when heated up. I was told the peppers were in the omlets prior to coming on board.

#17 Maverickstation

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 08:50 AM

The Food Fact site I also a good way to know what is created off train, and re-heated on board.

 

When you click the link for the actual offerings, you will get a pop up with nutritional data (if your like me and have to watch sodium ready carefully), 

some have ingredient lists, and you'll see notes such as it is a meal kit, or it will state what company made it (like Amy's), and/or how the dining car 

staff has to prepare it.  

 

From what posters have commented,  the Chef Inspired entrees are often in short supply.

 

http://www.amtrakfoodfacts.com

 

 

Ken 


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Location: Boston MA, the greatest city in America, and home of South Station, Amtrak's best large city station.

 


#18 KmH

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 10:53 AM

About the scrambled eggs served on the CZ and I guess all LD trains using the national dining car menu:

Two cage-free, pasteurized whole shell eggs scrambled to order . . .


And the omelet:

A freshly made pasteurized cage-free, three egg omelet available served plain, or with veggie filling & a side of salsa, or with everything. . .


Pasteurized eggs are gently heated in their shells, just enough to kill the bacteria but not enough to actually cook the egg.

1963 U. S. Congress - underground trolley system Disneyland train (1968/various other dates) Old Tucson steam train (1969)
Amtrak - California Zephyr Coast Starlight  Southwest Chief Sunset Limited Texas Eagle  Illinois Zephyr
. . . . Amtrak miles - 16,383, so far. 7,320 more miles booked OTM - OKJ - EMY - OTM March 2018.


#19 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 02:15 PM

How do you explain the perfectly even color, unchanging texture, and inability to change virtually anything about the egg entrees if theyre stocked and cooked from whole eggs? It just doesnt add up at all. Maybe things are different on the single level eastern trains, but on the western Superliners the egg entries seem to be nothing but processed commercial egg mix.

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#20 Shortline

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 02:32 PM

I am no expert, but I am pretty sure they crack the eggs on board, both on Western and Eastern trains-I've noticed some are more scrambled than others, with some white still around, which is how I like them. My eggs this morning were great, light and fluffy, and clearly hand scrambled, not from a box. Served over the quesadilla, with tomatillo salsa and sausage, was actually very good, much better than I expected it to be!

I still have 3 nights to go to LA, so I'm sure I'll get sick of it, but there seems to have been an increase in quality recently. I actually enjoyed the dinner (tried the shrimp biryani-It was....not too bad, which is better than expected again.) 

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