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CHI Legacy Club Closed, Metropolitan Lounge now $25

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The Chicago Metropolitan Lounge is cleaned and stocked by outside contractors


That’s what I thought but I didn’t want to say anything just in case I was wrong and made me sound like I didn’t know what I was talking about.

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People are slobs. Met Lounge would be grungy if people could bring in their outside food.

I often notice while strolling around Gotham (any city USA) that most of the litter is fast food wrappers, cartons and cans.

With a food court just one flight above the CUS Met Lounge, one can eat outside food there.

 

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On 2/10/2019 at 12:29 AM, PVD said:

The Chicago Metropolitan Lounge is cleaned and stocked by outside contractors, it is not a policy to benefit Amtrak employees in Chicago.

Fine, it's a policy to save a few pennies on contracting costs.  Whatever.  Still dumbassery.

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3 hours ago, Manny T said:

People are slobs. Met Lounge would be grungy if people could bring in their outside food.

Old Lounge was fine

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3 hours ago, Manny T said:

People are slobs. Met Lounge would be grungy if people could bring in their outside food.

I often notice while strolling around Gotham (any city USA) that most of the litter is fast food wrappers, cartons and cans.

With a food court just one flight above the CUS Met Lounge, one can eat outside food there.

It's a lot of no fun to drag all your luggage up to the overcrowded food court (which often has NO EMPTY SEATS) for your meal, and then back down again.  Kind of misses the entire point of having a first class lounge.

So basically I end up using the tables in the front of the lounge, which are insufficient if three families are trying to eat. 

Or using the Great Hall, which is a little more convenient.

Edited by neroden

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32 minutes ago, neroden said:

It's a lot of no fun to drag all your luggage up to the overcrowded food court (which often has NO EMPTY SEATS) for your meal,

There's a free storage area in the lounge...

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Neroden does have a point about the Food Court, though. It is sometimes close to impossible to find two seats together, let alone enough room for an entire family.

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Or using the Great Hall, which is a little more convenient.


This is probably the easiest of all the options. However, last few times I’ve been there, they’ve had a couple of benches right outside the lounge. I’ve eaten there and in the GH many times before.

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6 minutes ago, tim49424 said:

This is probably the easiest of all the options. However, last few times I’ve been there, they’ve had a couple of benches right outside the lounge. I’ve eaten there and in the GH many times before.

 

I do prefer the Great Hall. I don't mind setting my stuff on a bench instead of a table, and I always make sure I don't leave any crumbs behind.

Plus, even if it's full of people, the large room makes me feel like I have more room to breathe. The Food Court is simply maddening, even when it isn't very busy. The drop ceiling, beige walls, and fluorescent lights create a Pit of Despair.

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I do prefer the Great Hall. I don't mind setting my stuff on a bench instead of a table, and I always make sure I don't leave any crumbs behind.

Plus, even if it's full of people, the large room makes me feel like I have more room to breathe. The Food Court is simply maddening, even when it isn't very busy. The drop ceiling, beige walls, and fluorescent lights create a Pit of Despair.


In addition, the great architecture in the GH is a great backdrop. I’ve not once eaten in the food court, it’s just not that appetizing to me either.

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Ogilvie is pretty good, but as much as I like to get out and "explore", Chicago weather doesn't always make that fun. And we can't forget that "getting around" is not so easy for some folks....

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Aren't there plans to completely revamp the food court as CUS?  Seems to me I have read something about this but I can't recall which decade they were talking about.  

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12 hours ago, Rasputin said:

Ogilvie Transportation Center has a better food court and a bookstore.  Just saying.  

But Amtrak doesn't serve it...

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If the weather is ok and mobility or time are not an issue, Ogilvie is minutes away.....

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3 minutes ago, PVD said:

If the weather is ok and mobility or time are not an issue, Ogilvie is minutes away.....

But so long as someone is bothering to leave the station for a bite, does Ogilvie really offer the best food in the area?

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No, but it depends what you are looking for. It is a nicer food court. If you are looking for something between trains and aren't going out of the area it offers lots of familiar (and some decent) choices....

Edited by PVD

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If we want a quick and light meal between trains, sometimes we will walk from CUS to Ogilvie and eat there.

If we want a more substantial meal and have more time between trains, we will often go to the Greek Islands Restaurant at Adams and (North?) Halsted (10 minute walk).  There are certainly many restaurants within walking distance of CUS but that is often our choice.  

If the weather is bad, it's the CUS food court.  

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This purely a guess in regard to the ML, but at a lot of places the ability to bring in outside food or drink is not governed by the owners, but rather by FDA and or local health regulations.  I have no idea what kind of license or permit they might have for foodservice in the ML, but I wouldn't rule out the possibility of that policy being outside of Amtrak's control.  

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This is where the Metro Restaurant/Bar just off the Great Hall was such a positive amenity.

Instead of the Ogilvie food court, I'd recommend the French Market, also under the tracks (about a block north) there.

The city really should repurpose the Megabus loading area to Canal alongside Ogilvie.   It would make so much more sense there, an underutilized space, with the food court and French market available for waiting passengers.  

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14 hours ago, zephyrstar said:

This purely a guess in regard to the ML, but at a lot of places the ability to bring in outside food or drink is not governed by the owners, but rather by FDA and or local health regulations.  I have no idea what kind of license or permit they might have for foodservice in the ML, but I wouldn't rule out the possibility of that policy being outside of Amtrak's control.  

I see no reason why bringing one’s own food into the lounge would be any more of an issue than what they do allow. They literally have a self serve veggie and cheese stand. How would someone bringing in and eating your own food be more of a health hazard or concern than everyone grabbing and sharing the same food?

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6 minutes ago, cpotisch said:

I see no reason why bringing one’s own food into the lounge would be any more of an issue than what they do allow. They literally have a self serve veggie and cheese stand. How would someone bringing in and eating your own food be more of a health hazard or concern than everyone grabbing and sharing the same food?

I'm not sure of the reasoning behind it, but FDA regulations are what prevents passengers from bringing their own food into the cafe car, although that is not always enforced.

Edited by brianpmcdonnell17

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8 hours ago, NorthShore said:

Instead of the Ogilvie food court, I'd recommend the French Market, also under the tracks (about a block north) there.

 

I have heard of the French Market but have never been there.  It looks like a great choice and thanks for mentioning it.  Where is the entrance to the French Market in relation to the entrance to the Ogilivie (and the Ogilvie food court)?

Only downside I can see is that there are too many choices and you might miss your train while trying to decide what to eat.

 

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1 minute ago, Rasputin said:

I have heard of the French Market but have never been there.  It looks like a great choice and thanks for mentioning it.  Where is the entrance to the French Market in relation to the entrance to the Ogilivie (and the Ogilvie food court)?

Only downside I can see is that there are too many choices and you might miss your train while trying to decide what to eat.

 

The French Market is under the north end of the Ogilvie tracks and can actually be accessed from the platforms at most times via a secondary concourse. From Union Station, just walk north on Canal Street and it will be on the left past the main entrance to Ogilvie.

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