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July Changes to Lake Shore and Capitol Limited Dining


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#21 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 01:22 PM

Thanks, PVD! :) I had no idea a blueberry muffin had all that protein!



#22 PVD

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 01:23 PM

In their infinite wisdom they were placed at the bottom of the box where most people probably don't notice them. When I travel, I go for an omelet/french toast/side of bacon, biscuit and small fruit plate type breakfast. It is different from what I usually do at home. So, this is far from an ideal menu for me. But If I expect any comments or observations I make to be taken seriously, I have to strip out the emotion, and stick to the facts.So far, I believe I've done that in any posts on this subject.


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#23 PVD

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 01:30 PM

Nor did I. Since I don't like blueberries, I traded it with someone else. I would think a plainer muffin (cake,corn, or bran) with a choice of a little fruit spread/jam packet, peanut butter, or butter might be better. I thought the banana bread was pretty good. But as I said before, in order to get the protein from the muffin, you were going overboard on carbs.



#24 tommylicious

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 01:38 PM

 

Just don't ride these lines and warn people who are contemplating it !   Zero protein breakfast awful. We already booked air instead of Amtrak for a fall trip solely because of these downgrades.


What class of what airline?

 

Coach.  Barely 1 hour flight.  



#25 cpotisch

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 01:40 PM

Nor did I. Since I don't like blueberries, I traded it with someone else.

A bad blueberry muffin is a very sad thing. A good blueberry muffin is of the heavens. As I've said countless times before, I don't like blueberries on their own, but in a muffin, they can be out of this world. You didn't eat it, but did the muffins look fresh and/or good?


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


#26 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 01:43 PM


 

Just don't ride these lines and warn people who are contemplating it !   Zero protein breakfast awful. We already booked air instead of Amtrak for a fall trip solely because of these downgrades.

What class of what airline?
 
Coach.  Barely 1 hour flight.  

What Amtrak station pairs are you not taking?
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Amtrak: - Coast Starlight*, Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin*, Cascades*, Empire Builder*, California Zephyr*, Southwest Chief*, City of New Orleans*, River Cities, Illinois Zephyr*, Wolverine, Cardinal, Capitol Limited*, Lake Shore Limited, Downeaster, Acela Express*, Crescent*, Carolinian*, Silver Star*, Silver Meteor*, Maple Leaf* Texas Eagle.

 

VIA: - Canadian*

 

Iowa Pacific - Hoosier State*, and City of New Orleans Pullman*.   


#27 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 01:49 PM

Since they had said from the get go that they will make adjustments based on feedback, now that they are doing so should be no surprise IMHO. Both the proposed changes appear to be consisted with even the issues discussed on AU by its learned members.


Simply removing items from the one and only breakfast option seems like a pretty cynical reading of the feedback.  Other than the lack of hot meals my main issue was the lack of varied options, which doesn't seem to be getting any better as of yet. At this point everything they're adding involves taking something else away. 


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#28 PVD

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 01:51 PM

Keep in mind that my trip was very early into the process, they would likely not have been around long enough to be anything but decent. The question I can not answer: are the caterers buying them in small batches, buying them frozen, prepping and packing them in small batches, or is there a warehouse somewhere with a lifetime supply of blueberry muffins waiting to be used?


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#29 PVD

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 01:56 PM

That was my point with the "generic muffin" concept. A small tray of spreads/jams would offer many more choices, with very little added labor/handling, and no storage issue other than keeping the butter or non butter pats refrigerated.



#30 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 02:14 PM

The picture of the blueberry muffin looks an awful lot like the blueberry muffins I've seen (eaten) in the lounge at PHL for ages, so my guess is a warehouse with a lifetime supply! :P 



#31 Big Iron

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 05:19 PM

I know I am cynical about this topic, but I think their purpose is more cost cutting, presented (marketed) as trying to keep customers happy. (They don't have to pay for the Kind bars, which are good but perhaps expensive, or the banana bread thing, which just repeats carbs already available in the muffin. I bet they get a terrific deal on the dessert, which sounds awful, even to me with my sweet tooth.)

The dessert in a picture posted by PVD in the other thread showed the dessert made by Daystar Desserts.  I find their offerings very good having them in other boxed lunches, purchased from grocers and restaurants.  They were an Ashland, VA based company until recently they merged with a Mass. company.  The link has a recent article about the company products.

 

 https://www.richmond...4803efffd3.html


Trains Ridden: Broadway Limited (3), Capitol Limited (10), Cardinal (James Whitcomb Riley) (4) , Lake Shore Ltd. (4), Silver Star (5), Night Owl (3), Montrealer (2), Illinois Zephyr (10), Palmetto (2)

#32 ainamkartma

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 06:25 PM

Keep in mind that my trip was very early into the process, they would likely not have been around long enough to be anything but decent. The question I can not answer: are the caterers buying them in small batches, buying them frozen, prepping and packing them in small batches, or is there a warehouse somewhere with a lifetime supply of blueberry muffins waiting to be used?

 

The menu says they are "fresh prepared locally" or words to that effect.  Ha. Ha. Ha.

 

Ainamkartma



#33 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 06:32 PM

They are, ironically, possibly more fresh than the standard Amtrak diner food.

Amtrak: - Coast Starlight*, Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin*, Cascades*, Empire Builder*, California Zephyr*, Southwest Chief*, City of New Orleans*, River Cities, Illinois Zephyr*, Wolverine, Cardinal, Capitol Limited*, Lake Shore Limited, Downeaster, Acela Express*, Crescent*, Carolinian*, Silver Star*, Silver Meteor*, Maple Leaf* Texas Eagle.

 

VIA: - Canadian*

 

Iowa Pacific - Hoosier State*, and City of New Orleans Pullman*.   


#34 PVD

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 06:36 PM

I don't recall posting a picture, perhaps it was someone else....



#35 cpotisch

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 06:45 PM

I don't recall posting a picture, perhaps it was someone else....

I don't recall any AU member posting any picture he/she took. If memory serves, someone did post one or two linked photos of the meals, but I don't think they took it, and I'm sure it wasn't you.


Edited by cpotisch, 05 July 2018 - 06:47 PM.

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


#36 MikeM

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 07:22 PM

In the Trains magazine blogs today, one of their staff posted pictures and comments from the Lake Shore on the new diner fare. Probably not something amtrak management will want to frame or feature anywhere.

Meanwhile, has anyone heard more about changing the Texas Eagle to box meals? That surfaced on another thread on this forum two weeks ago, with a change happening in September. I was considering taking it in late September (sleeper ftw to chi, Hiawatha connect to mil) but backed off when it appears I'd be on box lunches. Wondering if blowback on the two current trains could delay or stop this.
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#37 Sauve850

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 09:33 PM

Im happy they are making adjustments but am certain they know people will complain no matter what they serve. If they went back to the dining car meals as we knew it a year ago or many years ago there would still be complaints. We all have different tastes. I for one am going to ride the CL and try it out.


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#38 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 10:27 PM

I'm one of the more critical members on the forum when it comes to Amtrak LD dining, but even I didn't have much to complain about during the original nationwide "Chef Inspired" meal era.  Those meals may not have been freshly prepared from scratch but the variety, flavor, and texture were a good match for the train.  That was the day I had to eat some crow and (happily) admit there was nothing wrong with Amtrak LD sleeper dining.  The dining car staff were still kid of rude, especially to first time diners and coach class passengers, but things were really looking up at that point.  Unfortunately it only lasted around two years or so.  There was another separate rerun of Chef Inspired meals that were more simplistic and less consistent.  The only thing I'm looking forward to right now is the new cafe menu, which seems like it should be available as a pre-departure dining option for sleeper pax as well, but whatever.


Edited by Devil's Advocate, 06 July 2018 - 02:05 PM.

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#39 crescent-zephyr

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 10:52 PM

The "chef inspired" meals of around 2013 were the best dinner entrees I've had on a train. They beat the Canadian entrees and what I had on the Pullman Rail trips and Hoosier State trips I've taken.

Mahi Mahi, Beechers macaroni and cheese, and the Lamb Shank were all big winners.
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Amtrak: - Coast Starlight*, Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin*, Cascades*, Empire Builder*, California Zephyr*, Southwest Chief*, City of New Orleans*, River Cities, Illinois Zephyr*, Wolverine, Cardinal, Capitol Limited*, Lake Shore Limited, Downeaster, Acela Express*, Crescent*, Carolinian*, Silver Star*, Silver Meteor*, Maple Leaf* Texas Eagle.

 

VIA: - Canadian*

 

Iowa Pacific - Hoosier State*, and City of New Orleans Pullman*.   


#40 Skyline

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Posted 05 July 2018 - 10:57 PM

I don't know why Amtrak can't offer a modest slice of quiche, warmed, at breakfast. Any supplier should be able to accommodate this, and rotate at least three varieties. A normal size quiche should yield at least six slices. Pair that with some fresh fruit and some cold cereal and it should be OK.

 

In fact quiche is one of those items that could be carried over at lunch time.


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