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


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#901 cpotisch

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Posted Yesterday, 03:23 PM

No one has yet commented (that I have seen) on the new cold meals for gluten free or wheat free passengers.  It is probable that special meals of this type would be salads.  But if one is truly taking a long trip, salads at each meal just don't cut it.  Look at a train like the Lake Shore Limited.  An end-point to end-point ride involves numerous meals and an all-salad menu doesn't sound appetizing.  And what if this menu was implemented on multi-day western trains?  That could kill the deal as far as long distance travel. 

 

Many of us have spouses with whom we take train trips.  I've taken my wife along for years and she has always enjoyed the dining car experience.  If that is gone, it will be difficult for me to get her on a train.

The Lake Shore Limited, and for the most the part, the Capitol, only serve two meals. So if any trains are to get this menu, I'm pretty glad it's those. That said, this menu is pretty much unacceptable for passengers with dietary restrictions. As I've said multiple times, if you don't eat meat you will not have any choice when you order. The gluten free selection is also pretty limited, but I feel like it could be worse.


Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service

 

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#902 jis

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Posted Yesterday, 03:27 PM

Do we even know any more what the actual "This menu" is going to be, now that the sneak preview has been removed? Or did the same one or a different one appear again while I was not looking?



#903 jis

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Posted Yesterday, 03:34 PM

Here is a nice Op-Ed on the subject, put together by Carl Fowler, one of the Vice-Chairs of RPA.

 

https://urbanmilwauk...vice-a-mistake/


Edited by jis, Yesterday, 03:35 PM.

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#904 greatcats

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Posted Yesterday, 04:01 PM

JIS- I have not commented on this thread before, but am disgusted by these idiotic “ experiments. “ Having just ridden the Cardinal this past week, I understand why On this type of car why conventional meals are not served. I found the cuisine, except for the hot roast beef sandwich, definitely sub par. And the same menu is on the CONO. Shame on these blasted bureaucrats. I will say the Cardinal is an interesting ride and the crews were good.
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I was a commuter railroad employee in NJ for many years until 2002, and have since been a tour guide at Grand Canyon National Park and Ketchikan, Alaska. Also, have been a National Park Volunteer at Hawaii Volcanoes and now Sunset Crater Volcano near my home. If not on Amtrak, also like long road trips, camping some of the time.

#905 NE933

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Posted Yesterday, 04:29 PM

There is a posting on Trainorders.com that suggests good news on this front. Read it for yourselves.

#906 Yumacool

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Posted Yesterday, 04:40 PM

True, but breakfast can be the worst meal for gluten free people eating pre-packaged meals, for they can't eat muffins or breakfast sandwiches.



#907 Ryan

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Posted Yesterday, 04:47 PM

There is a posting on Trainorders.com that suggests good news on this front. Read it for yourselves.


There is nothing new there. It has already been noted here that the menus are gone.

We’ll know what that means in 10 days or less.
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#908 pennyk

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Posted Yesterday, 04:54 PM

True, but breakfast can be the worst meal for gluten free people eating pre-packaged meals, for they can't eat muffins or breakfast sandwiches.

 

If the menu previously on-line is accurate, a Kashi Bar and a Kind Bar will be offered for breakfast.  I know that many Kind Bars are gluten free and I believe many Kashi Bars are as well. Since I have food allergies, I always travel with "bars."


Amtrak miles: 233,112; Routes: Silver Meteor, Champion, Silver Star, Auto Train, Capitol Limited, Empire Builder, Lakeshore Limited, Adirondack, Vermonter, Cardinal, California Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Texas Eagle, Missouri River Runner, Acela Express, Southwest Chief, Cascades, Crescent, City of New Orleans, Hiawatha Service, Maple Leaf, Keystone Service, NE Regional, Downeaster, Piedmont, Carolinian, Lincoln Service, Autumn Express 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, Empire Service, Sunset Limited, San Joaquin, Capitol Corridor, Pennsylvanian, Illinois Zephyr, Carl Sandburg, Ethan Allen Express, AEM-7 Excursion, Pacific Surfliner, Palmetto.  VIA miles: 4,584; Routes: The Canadian, Ocean; Alaska RR Denali Star: 356 miles


#909 jis

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Posted Yesterday, 05:00 PM

All that one can surmise is something may be changing in the plans. But we will not know for sure until the proverbial fat lady sings.

 

All that I have heard is that there may have been some pointed Congressional intervention for a few individuals since the last time I paid attention to this. There has also been some pointed Congressional intervention on the issue of certain station agents or lack thereof. The results of that are also not known at present. Again, the fat lady has gotta sing first!


Edited by jis, Yesterday, 06:03 PM.

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#910 cpotisch

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Posted Yesterday, 05:10 PM

Has it ever happened before that Amtrak decided to retract a change like this due to customer backlash, even before its actually in place? My guess is no, and I highly doubt that the removal of the new menus is indicative of anything significant. Probably no more then a typo or slight difference in the offerings, the way I see it...

Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service

 

Wish List: Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome, Downeaster

 


#911 bretton88

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Posted Yesterday, 05:59 PM

All that one can surmise is something may be changing in the plans. But we will not know for sure until the proverbial fat lady sings.

 

All that I have heard is that there may have been some pointed Congressional intervention for a few individuals since the last time I paid attention to this. There has also been some pointed Congressional intervention on the issue of certain station agents or lack thereof. The results of that are also not known at oppresent.

I will note there have been some slight tweaks to the press release, there is now no more reference to the kind of food that might be served. This leads me to believe Amtrak is tweaking the menu but not changing the overall pilot program.


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If I won the lottery, I'd probably build a passenger from nowhere to nowhere.


#912 cpotisch

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Posted Yesterday, 06:13 PM

All that one can surmise is something may be changing in the plans. But we will not know for sure until the proverbial fat lady sings.
 
All that I have heard is that there may have been some pointed Congressional intervention for a few individuals since the last time I paid attention to this. There has also been some pointed Congressional intervention on the issue of certain station agents or lack thereof. The results of that are also not known at oppresent.

I will note there have been some slight tweaks to the press release, there is now no more reference to the kind of food that might be served. This leads me to believe Amtrak is tweaking the menu but not changing the overall pilot program.
Good eye. I had meant to check for that, buuuuut I’m lazy. ;) Well hopefully the changes aren’t worse.

Routes Traveled: Silver Meteor, Silver Star, CrescentLake Shore LimitedCalifornia Zephyr, Sunset Limited, Texas EagleEthan Allen Express, Empire Service, Maple Leaf, AdirondackAcela Express, Northeast RegionalKeystone Service

 

Wish List: Cardinal, CONO, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Crescent (overnight), Adirondack w/ Great Dome, Downeaster

 


#913 jis

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Posted Yesterday, 06:26 PM

Considering that if the pilot program merely uses the food items served on the LSL or Cardinal now, I would be a perfectly happy camper, any change in the menu in that direction would be a welcome change. I am not much of a salad person, and I will just have to convert to my Silver Star mode of operation iff they stick with the previously seen menu. Too bad it won't be with the lowered Sleeper fare.



#914 Palmetto

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Posted Yesterday, 08:42 PM

It will be a sad day when the only long distance public transport in this country is a cramped, probably low-quality bus, or a crowded, cramped airplane with security.

At least Amtrak coach is roomy, and you can walk around and get food on board.

The Primera Plus buses in Mexico beat anything this country has to offer.



#915 Tony in Ann Arbor

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Posted Yesterday, 10:23 PM

I have no problem with the dining car personnel on the Cardinal but we have stopped riding it because of the menu selections, quality of the food, and poor planning and stocking practices.  I don't care for for the proposed choices (at least the menu we have seen) for the Capitol and Lake Shore, but emulating the Cardinal's menu is only a minor improvement on those choices.


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#916 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted Today, 08:04 AM

I am sure I am the only person on here who really likes the Cardinal menu, but I do. If it's the same as when I rode it last year, I had the penne pasta with meatballs for lunch and the Chinese noodles in cashew sauce for dinner, and they were both good. And the omelet for breakfast was just the same as the omelet on any other LD train. If those choices were on the Cap or Lake Shore, I would consider it a step up from the cold stuff they are planning.

 

I also had the Railroad French toast when I did a short trip in a roomette from TRE to ALX (same cost as business class on the Regional, so took advantage of that before someone in charge figures that out). But, to be fair, that was more like dessert (I had an egg sandwich in the station before the train arrived).

 

Of course, as many of you know, I cook just about everything in the microwave, so it kind of felt like being at home :).


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