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Lake Shore/Capitol Limited Sleeping Car Menu Refresh 1/16/19

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Ok my response to those photos is heated vending machine food and cereal my 11 month old eats for breakfast at daycare sometimes. Not impressed. 

I admit I watch way too many YouTube travel vlogs.  How come most of the food in dining cars/lounges on European trains actually looks good, hearty and filling? It’s all reheated food. If your going to do it do it right. Via’s  Ocean is another example to an even higher standard. 

Photos from Virgin UK and Calidonian sleeper class. 

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20BDABF1-B6F8-433A-9457-1AA0EB03B9A9.jpeg

Edited by Amtrakfflyer

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The Canadian isn't too bad if you ride it in a berth and get it on sale. I did Winnipeg to Vancouver one way in late May 2015 and the cost was around CA$500. I live within driving distance of Winnipeg, so just did a domestic flight back to Winnipeg. Very much worth it.

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9 minutes ago, jebr said:

The Canadian isn't too bad if you ride it in a berth and get it on sale. I did Winnipeg to Vancouver one way in late May 2015 and the cost was around CA$500. I live within driving distance of Winnipeg, so just did a domestic flight back to Winnipeg. Very much worth it.

In December 2010, I did Tornoto to Vancouver in a room for 2 for US $865 (on sale).  Also, very much worth it.  

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10 hours ago, crescent-zephyr said:

 So if your argument is that coach passengers should have access to the menu items.. I agree, but I'm guessing many would not sell at the price points that would be set for them. 

Agree with the 2d part. The "refresh" consists of replacing cold boxed meals with reheated frozen dinners (TV dinners), then adding a salad, dessert and beverage. For sleeper PAX they are free, but how much would Amtrak charge coach PAX for these $3.99 TV dinners -- $16.50? $18.50? No sane coach passenger is going to want to buy them. So imho the question of "allowing" coach PAX into the now barren "dining car" to do so is a non-starter.

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I did the Canadian in an open berth for $200 from Vancouver to Toronto. But I managed to get a 75 percent discount.

I know a lot of people don't like the uppers. But personally I like the upper berth. Especially if you can get the one across the aisle from the shower. It's very private. And really easy to go to sleep without a window b

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2 hours ago, Manny T said:

Agree with the 2d part. The "refresh" consists of replacing cold boxed meals with reheated frozen dinners (TV dinners), then adding a salad, dessert and beverage. For sleeper PAX they are free, but how much would Amtrak charge coach PAX for these $3.99 TV dinners -- $16.50? $18.50? No sane coach passenger is going to want to buy them. So imho the question of "allowing" coach PAX into the now barren "dining car" to do so is a non-starter.

The LSL is the last train of the day traveling west across NY.  I am a Utica home station type of person. When traveling on this train I will/have eaten in the dinner even at the nose bleed prices.  That option is no longer available to me as a coach passenger.

 

With the lounge car getting added in Albany do they still sell snacks to the coach passenger from the dinner?

 

My last trip from NYC was from NYG not NYP so I have missed this so far.

 

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10 hours ago, Manny T said:

Agree with the 2d part. The "refresh" consists of replacing cold boxed meals with reheated frozen dinners (TV dinners), then adding a salad, dessert and beverage. For sleeper PAX they are free, but how much would Amtrak charge coach PAX for these $3.99 TV dinners -- $16.50? $18.50? No sane coach passenger is going to want to buy them. So imho the question of "allowing" coach PAX into the now barren "dining car" to do so is a non-starter.

Agree 100 percent, they have more “heated” options now but the quality from the previous contemporary menu appears to have taken a major hit.  If coach passengers were going to buy the entree it would have to be in the $8-10 range tops and even then over priced. 

 It hits home to me because I do buy these type frozen meals sometimes on layovers and heat them up in the hotel rooms microwave.  For $2.50- 4 bucks they’re great as a snack or very light meal. They look exactly like the photos 

Edited by Amtrakfflyer

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8 hours ago, Just-Thinking-51 said:

With the lounge car getting added in Albany do they still sell snacks to the coach passenger from the dinner?

The lounge car has always been added in Albany, and I don't think they have ever served snacks out of the diner.

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To the above poster who suggested Amtrak look to how Caledonian Sleeper does it... umm....  here's some photos from actual travelers on the Caledonian Sleeper... this is the first class breakfast.   (photos are not mine, copied from travel blog sites for demonstration). 

IMG_3655.thumb.jpg.978fc51099bf734e24f862933985b308.jpg14706704534_39a4cfcf37.jpg.5b39ecd716946fbe80e98ee484841abb.jpgIMG_0075.jpg.dce9f6d0209a6dfe2fa82c0a5262575b.jpg

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I've only ridden the Canadian once, and while I very much enjoyed it I still think it's way over-hyped. Sure the dining car is a bit classier, and dome cars are the best thing ever (really they are) but chances are  you're also going to sit on a siding for 6-8 hours.  Are the Canadian rockies prettier than the Colorado Rockies?  Well everytime I've ridden the Zephyr I've gotten to see the Colorado Rockies, and we traveled through most of the Canadian rockies in the dark due to delays on the Canadian so I can't tell ya. ha. 

The dining car staff out of Winnipeg was visually annoyed when my table-mate tried to order in French and she refused to respond to him in French. (Canada is bi-lingual and all menus are printed in both english and french.. this should have been a non-issue). Dining car staff also made it almost impossible to order anything other than water or alcohol ($$$) for lunch / diner.  The server told you to ask the host. The host says he only takes orders for wine and beer and to ask your server.  Silly things like that.  To be fair the dining car staff out of Toronto was quite good but that shows that VIA rail has the same inconsistencies Amtrak has. Oh yeah, and I remember riding it all those years ago and the staff commenting that they just replaced fresh flowers with plastic ones in the diner. 

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32 minutes ago, crescent-zephyr said:

To the above poster who suggested Amtrak look to how Caledonian Sleeper does it... umm....  here's some photos from actual travelers on the Caledonian Sleeper... this is the first class breakfast.   (photos are not mine, copied from travel blog sites for demonstration). 

IMG_3655.thumb.jpg.978fc51099bf734e24f862933985b308.jpg14706704534_39a4cfcf37.jpg.5b39ecd716946fbe80e98ee484841abb.jpgIMG_0075.jpg.dce9f6d0209a6dfe2fa82c0a5262575b.jpg

Yes breakfast is served like that to some passengers since train arrives early 7:07 to London and 7:22 to Glasgow.  Sleeping car pax still have option of full breakfast though. The dinner is still as shown earlier, sit down service. 

The dinner/light bites/snack menu is actually 8 pages. Check it out at Sleeper.scot . Coach passengers have access to meals on a separate “seated” to go menu perhaps that’s what the breakfast photos are as well. 

Edited by Amtrakfflyer

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3 hours ago, cpotisch said:

The lounge car has always been added in Albany, and I don't think they have ever served snacks out of the diner.

They have in the past.  Not sure what the current set up.  My travel pattern are normal west bound.  Rare to snag the LSL out of NYC.  When travel from Florida I arrange a pick up at Albany, rather the late arrival in Utica.

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I vaguely remember getting something simple (bag of chips?)  between NY and Albany some time ago, and the phrase "pantry box" comes to mind. Not sure if I remember correctly. Now, I usually just have something in my bag stashed for the occasion.

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44 minutes ago, PVD said:

I vaguely remember getting something simple (bag of chips?)  between NY and Albany some time ago, and the phrase "pantry box" comes to mind. Not sure if I remember correctly. Now, I usually just have something in my bag stashed for the occasion.

I do not recall what it was called, but I believe that snacks used to be sold in the dining car before the cafe car was merged with 49 in Albany.  I know that I purchased beer more than once prior to Albany and prior to my sitting down for dinner during trips prior to the new contemporary dining.

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1 hour ago, PVD said:

I vaguely remember getting something simple (bag of chips?)  between NY and Albany some time ago, and the phrase "pantry box" comes to mind. Not sure if I remember correctly. Now, I usually just have something in my bag stashed for the occasion.

"Panic Box"  is the term......

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1 hour ago, PVD said:

I vaguely remember getting something simple (bag of chips?)  between NY and Albany some time ago, and the phrase "pantry box" comes to mind. Not sure if I remember correctly. Now, I usually just have something in my bag stashed for the occasion.

They give each sleepers passenger a box full of chips and snacks and stuff east of Albany if #48 is running too late. Any chance you're thinking of that?

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Getting back on topic it seems that the LSL and CL food at the very least now includes 3 hot entrees. After reviewing the menu its still not great and its served in a box,  but good enough for my wife to book a trip for us this May. Food seems similar to what we used to get on the Cardinal but FAR less choices. Last we recall they serve on plates there too and you have the community seating which we like. The Cardinal menu offers 

The above is done with one chef/server and help from an SCA. If they can so it on one train then why not do it on the CL and LSL?                        

 
 
Edited by dlagrua

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2 minutes ago, dlagrua said:

Getting back on topic it seems that the LSL and CL food at the very least now includes 3 hot entrees. After reviewing the menu its still not great nad its served in a box but good enough for my wife to book a trip for us this May. Food seems similar to what we used to get on the Cardinal but less choices. Last we recall they serve on plates there. The Cardinal menu offers 

The above is done with one chef/server and help from an SCA. If they can so it on one train then why not do it on the CL and LSL?                        

 
 

The dinner entrée setup is now essentially equivalent to the Cardinal..... three non vegan options and one vegan option... the big thing missing is lighter lunch options and some of the breakfast options (and obviously table service.)

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3 hours ago, lordsigma said:

The dinner entrée setup is now essentially equivalent to the Cardinal..... three non vegan options and one vegan option... the big thing missing is lighter lunch options and some of the breakfast options (and obviously table service.)

NONE of them look appetizing to me.   The pork shanks look like vomit.    The portions don't look large enough to feed a bird.   I will probably need to grab something before I get onboard  the CL.

 

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