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July Changes to Lake Shore and Capitol Limited Dining

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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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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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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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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.

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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.com/business/local/sweet-tooth-hanover-s-daystar-desserts-merges-with-another-dessert/article_e3143f34-723e-5915-a100-e44803efffd3.html

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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

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

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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

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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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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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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

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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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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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I wonder if the MAN in charge is reading all the comments or is he stuck on Twitter?

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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.

Everything must be self contained because there is only one LSA for the entire car. To cook something separate (an entire quiche to be cooked and split/plated) would require a chef as well

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Being honest, I am unlikely to afford to ride in a sleeper again, so the "included" food options are not a massive issue for me. I can bring some instant porridge sachets aboard, and get hot water from the cafe. Bingo! Hot breakfast, along with a bannana or apple. I have also brought hard boiled eggs, these last a few days without refrigeration.

 

Some folk need particular foods for health reasons, but for most of us an unbalanced diet for a day or two won't do too much harm on a long distance train.

 

I guess what I am trying to say, is that we can all bring nicer food aboard, even in the sleepers... Eating the Amtrak "offerings" seems more a chore rather than a gastronomic pleasure, judging by these AU forums?

 

I have not quite understood the "box" meals situation... Are they served in a cafe car where other folk can also consume their own food, or in a quite seperate dinner? Just wondering if it is feasable to add an item of your own food to the included box meals?

 

Ed,

Edited by caravanman

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I wonder how it will be heated- if it is convection oven reheated or microwaved.

 

Also hopefully there's enough for everyone who wants a hot meal.

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I guess what I am trying to say, is that we can all bring nicer food aboard, even in the sleepers... Eating the Amtrak "offerings" seems more a chore rather than a gastronomic pleasure, judging by these AU forums?

 

I have not quite understood the "box" meals situation... Are they served in a cafe car where other folk can also consume their own food, or in a quite seperate dinner? Just wondering if it is feasable to add an item of your own food to the included box meals?

 

Ed,

That's a good question...

Typically, they do not permit you to bring your own food to tables where they serve you theirs...but since it is now essentially "self-service" from the counter to the tables, perhaps you can mix your own to what they provide....not sure... :unsure:

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Never posted in here before, but do read some. Here are my recent meals on the CL

 

I've had each twice in the last week and presentation was slightly different for each. The chicken was cut and laid out differently in the salad on my return trip. The parmesan crisps were also in the salad instead of bagged separate. And for breakfast the second time the blueberries were already in the yogurt instead of separate on top.

 

post-13406-15308824370713.jpgpost-13406-15308826942541.jpg

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You place your order with the SCA and designate a time to go pick dinner up. Then you can eat at the tables, in the observation car or your room. It comes in a green bag. For breakfast you just pick it up whenever.

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Never posted in here before, but do read some. Here are my recent meals on the CL

Thank you, Turtle.

 

Finally after forty + posts of meaningless blather it takes a brand new forum member to post the very first meaningful thing about the new food items. Congratulations and welcome to the Forum!

 

How'd the stuff taste?

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Haha. Thanks.

 

The salad was not bad. I couldn't eat the pasta as I'm gluten sensitive. So likewise I didn't eat any of the breakfast bread.

 

I don't like that there are no non caffeine soda options with dinner. No more Mist or whatever they had. They do have sparkling water and ginger ale.

 

What bothers me most (other than the lack of the food I loved) is the waste. You have to take the whole boxed meal even if you want just one thing. Then people just throw the rest away. I hated doing that, but had no way to take it with me on my trip. The cheesecake comes in a glass Mason jar. Since when are they disposable? I did wash mine out and save them.

 

My son only wanted chips. Rather than get a whole meal just to throw 95% of it away we bought chips at the cafe.

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