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Amtrak's New "Fresh Choices" Dining on CL & LSL


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#1 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 11:20 AM

Capitol Limited and lake Shore Limited sleeping car customers to be offered fresh choices for meals this summer

WASHINGTON Amtrak will offer contemporary and fresh dining choices for sleeping car customers, instead of traditional dining car service, embarking aboard its Capitol Limited and Lake Shore Limited trains starting June 1.
 
Sleeping car customers will choose meals delivered to their Bedrooms or Roomettes or eaten in a private café or lounge car and entrees such as:

  • Lunch & Dinner: Chilled beef tenderloin, Vegan wrap, Chicken Caesar salad, or Turkey club sandwich.
  • Breakfast: Assorted breakfast breads with butter, cream cheese and strawberry jam; Greek yogurt and sliced seasonal fresh fruit plate.
These meals will continue to be included in the sleeping car fare and are delivered to the trains just prior to origination, eliminating on-board preparation. Customers will also be offered unlimited soft beverages, a complimentary serving of beer, wine or a mixed-drink and an amenity kit.  A Kosher meal continues to be available with advance notice.
 
Our plan is to provide new and fresh food choices in a contemporary way for these overnight trains, said Bob Dorsch, Vice President of the Amtrak Long Distance Service Line. Our continued success depends on increasing customer satisfaction while becoming more efficient.
 
Dorsch said this enhancement will continue to be refined and we look forward to hearing from our customers.
 
The Capitol Limited (Trains 29 & 30) operates daily between Washington, D.C., and Chicago, via Pittsburgh and Cleveland. The Lake Shore Limited (Trains 48 & 49) typically operates daily between Chicago and New York, with a section to and from Boston (Trains 448 & 449).

 


Link: https://media.amtrak...-amtrak-routes/

 

Admin note:

The now closed topic "Chefs being removed off the Capitol Limited" can be found here.


Edited by PRR 60, 19 April 2018 - 01:04 PM.
Added cross-reference link to prior topic

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#2 seat38a

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 11:29 AM

Well it sounds like the Empire Builder Portland style box meal but with more enhancements. 



#3 Chey

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 11:41 AM

That works great for me - the meals were always too big and this sounds lighter. It may not work so well for others Complimentary serving of beer, wine or mixed drink? What's not to love there!

What's an amenity kit?

#4 seat38a

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 11:57 AM

That works great for me - the meals were always too big and this sounds lighter. It may not work so well for others Complimentary serving of beer, wine or mixed drink? What's not to love there!

What's an amenity kit?

I'm guessing something airline business class like this:

15749274342_579146a82b_c.jpg I'm guessing they could just grab a bunch of them from where the airlines get them and hand them out.



#5 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 11:58 AM

"Fresh choices," "flavor forward," all those stupid trendy phrases usually mean something has been downgraded and marketing is trying to make it sound upgraded.

 

So this change essentially means no chance to speak with any passengers outside of coach, even if you eat in the dedicated car instead of your roomette, plus a continental breakfast, which is of course not breakfast at all--it's just a snack.

 

The breakfast on the Portland part of the Builder was lovely, but it had some protein in in, even though it had to be cold--I think I had a ham and cheese sandwich--plus a lovely blueberry cake and some fruit salad.

 

I had planned to try the Cap. Ltd. when I went to Chicago next, but now I will just save up for the Cardinal, at least til they destroy that, too.


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#6 fixj

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 11:58 AM

Well, I'm on the Cap to Chicago the last week in May and returning the first week in June, so I should see the end of current food service and the beginning of this new service. I'll let you know, but not expecting anything great out of this service cut. 



#7 Ryan

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 12:03 PM

“Destroy” is a bit over the top, I think. We’re talking about a sub-18 hour trip that you’re asleep for the majority of.
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#8 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 12:09 PM

“Destroy” is a bit over the top, I think. We’re talking about a sub-18 hour trip that you’re asleep for the majority of.

Fair enough, Ryan--I forgot how short that trip is and that it's mostly overnight. But I do love my eggs for breakfast! However, for anyone going all the way to Chicago, there are certainly plenty of good breakfast places there.

 

I think what annoyed me the most was that they are still charging the sleeper prices but cutting what you get, but pretending it's something better. Not even making it an "experiment" like they did with the Silver Star.


Edited by Mystic River Dragon, 19 April 2018 - 12:14 PM.

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#9 jebr

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 12:09 PM

The only thing I'm not liking is the lack of any hot food options being offered. It'd be nice if there was an option for a hot entree at least for lunch and dinner, especially if they extend this systemwide.

 

Other than that, I'll easily take the tradeoff of unlimited soft drinks and a free nightcap over the diner car experience. The food was decent, but I'd always found it comparable to Denny's. If the dining car is still there (just unstaffed) I still have the option to enjoy it with other passengers, and it's possible that the entrees would be better quality than a diner-lite meal.


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#10 tommylicious

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 12:17 PM

This is an unequivocal downgrade, mark my words.  


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#11 Ryan

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 12:19 PM

There is no way of saying that without seeing what the meals are like. Unlimited soda and (limited) free booze are an upgrade.
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#12 Palmetto

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 12:21 PM

This is an unequivocal downgrade, mark my words.  

 

 

The new choices certainly seem to be, IMHO.  


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#13 seat38a

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 12:21 PM

The only thing I'm not liking is the lack of any hot food options being offered. It'd be nice if there was an option for a hot entree at least for lunch and dinner, especially if they extend this systemwide.

 

Other than that, I'll easily take the tradeoff of unlimited soft drinks and a free nightcap over the diner car experience. The food was decent, but I'd always found it comparable to Denny's. If the dining car is still there (just unstaffed) I still have the option to enjoy it with other passengers, and it's possible that the entrees would be better quality than a diner-lite meal.

Yes but the free booze should keep you feeling nice and warm until your destination  ;)



#14 jebr

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 12:25 PM

Yes but the free booze should keep you feeling nice and warm until your destination  ;)


Not sure that a single nightcap will keep me warm all the way to my destination.  :ph34r:


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#15 LookingGlassTie

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 12:27 PM

Well, as long as I wouldn't be relegated to eating carry-on snacks at my seat or in my room........... :P


"And you know that notion just crossed my mind............"


#16 seat38a

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 12:27 PM

 

Yes but the free booze should keep you feeling nice and warm until your destination  ;)


Not sure that a single nightcap will keep me warm all the way to my destination.  :ph34r:

 

I firmly exercise my privilege as a sleeping car passenger and stop at BevMo before boarding  :P



#17 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 12:29 PM

There is no way of saying that without seeing what the meals are like. Unlimited soda and (limited) free booze are an upgrade.

Soda and free booze are not an upgrade to those of us who don't drink soda or liquor. I want my eggs! (Although, to be fair, Amtrak's eggs don't compare with a real breakfast cooked in a real breakfast restaurant or--you knew this was coming--a south Jersey diner! :P .)

 

 

 

Yes but the free booze should keep you feeling nice and warm until your destination  ;)


Not sure that a single nightcap will keep me warm all the way to my destination.  :ph34r:

 

I firmly exercise my privilege as a sleeping car passenger and stop at BevMo before boarding  :P

 

What is BevMo?


Edited by Mystic River Dragon, 19 April 2018 - 12:30 PM.


#18 seat38a

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 12:33 PM

This is an unequivocal downgrade, mark my words.  

Amtrak could have just as well gone the route of the Silver Star. I remember the crying and moaning when that happened. I would definitely prefer the boxed meal vs the microwaved TV dinner on a plastic plate.

 

Not sure who is going to provide the meals at the originating station but the PDX Empire Builder boxed meals are prepared and delivered by a local restaurant.



#19 rrdude

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 12:36 PM

 

Capitol Limited and lake Shore Limited sleeping car customers to be offered fresh choices for meals this summer

WASHINGTON Amtrak will offer contemporary and fresh dining choices for sleeping car customers, instead of traditional dining car service, embarking aboard its Capitol Limited and Lake Shore Limited trains starting June 1.
 
Sleeping car customers will choose meals delivered to their Bedrooms or Roomettes or eaten in a private café or lounge car and entrees such as:

  • Lunch & Dinner: Chilled beef tenderloin, Vegan wrap, Chicken Caesar salad, or Turkey club sandwich.
  • Breakfast: Assorted breakfast breads with butter, cream cheese and strawberry jam; Greek yogurt and sliced seasonal fresh fruit plate.
These meals will continue to be included in the sleeping car fare and are delivered to the trains just prior to origination, eliminating on-board preparation. Customers will also be offered unlimited soft beverages, a complimentary serving of beer, wine or a mixed-drink and an amenity kit.  A Kosher meal continues to be available with advance notice.
 
Our plan is to provide new and fresh food choices in a contemporary way for these overnight trains, said Bob Dorsch, Vice President of the Amtrak Long Distance Service Line. Our continued success depends on increasing customer satisfaction while becoming more efficient.
 
Dorsch said this enhancement will continue to be refined and we look forward to hearing from our customers.
 
The Capitol Limited (Trains 29 & 30) operates daily between Washington, D.C., and Chicago, via Pittsburgh and Cleveland. The Lake Shore Limited (Trains 48 & 49) typically operates daily between Chicago and New York, with a section to and from Boston (Trains 448 & 449).

 


Link: https://media.amtrak...-amtrak-routes/

 

 

 

It could be worse. I do like the Comp Drink, wonder what the "amenity kit" is? Soap, a towel, and rubber-biscuit?  Again, on a train with NO MORE than three meal periods, this might be tolerable.  Hey, you wanted some variety from the National Menu? Here ya go!



#20 seat38a

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 12:37 PM

 

There is no way of saying that without seeing what the meals are like. Unlimited soda and (limited) free booze are an upgrade.

Soda and free booze are not an upgrade to those of us who don't drink soda or liquor. I want my eggs! (Although, to be fair, Amtrak's eggs don't compare with a real breakfast cooked in a real breakfast restaurant or--you knew this was coming--a south Jersey diner! :P .)

 

 

 

Yes but the free booze should keep you feeling nice and warm until your destination  ;)


Not sure that a single nightcap will keep me warm all the way to my destination.  :ph34r:

 

I firmly exercise my privilege as a sleeping car passenger and stop at BevMo before boarding  :P

 

What is BevMo?

 

Its a west coast thing. They specialize in wine/beer/alcohol. Think Liquor Store but big bright and the size of a supermarket.






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