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

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Devil's Advocate, Apr 19, 2018.

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  1. Apr 19, 2018 #1

    Devil's Advocate

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    Link: https://media.amtrak.com/2018/04/new-contemporary-dining-soon-two-amtrak-routes/

    Admin note:

    The now closed topic "Chefs being removed off the Capitol Limited" can be found here.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2018
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  2. Apr 19, 2018 #2

    seat38a

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    seat38a

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    Well it sounds like the Empire Builder Portland style box meal but with more enhancements.
     
  3. Apr 19, 2018 #3

    Chey

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    That works great for me - the meals were always too big and this sounds lighter. It may not work so well for others Complimentary serving of beer, wine or mixed drink? What's not to love there!

    What's an amenity kit?
     
  4. Apr 19, 2018 #4

    seat38a

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    I'm guessing something airline business class like this:

    [​IMG] I'm guessing they could just grab a bunch of them from where the airlines get them and hand them out.
     
  5. Apr 19, 2018 #5

    Mystic River Dragon

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    "Fresh choices," "flavor forward," all those stupid trendy phrases usually mean something has been downgraded and marketing is trying to make it sound upgraded.

    So this change essentially means no chance to speak with any passengers outside of coach, even if you eat in the dedicated car instead of your roomette, plus a continental breakfast, which is of course not breakfast at all--it's just a snack.

    The breakfast on the Portland part of the Builder was lovely, but it had some protein in in, even though it had to be cold--I think I had a ham and cheese sandwich--plus a lovely blueberry cake and some fruit salad.

    I had planned to try the Cap. Ltd. when I went to Chicago next, but now I will just save up for the Cardinal, at least til they destroy that, too.
     
  6. Apr 19, 2018 #6

    fixj

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    Well, I'm on the Cap to Chicago the last week in May and returning the first week in June, so I should see the end of current food service and the beginning of this new service. I'll let you know, but not expecting anything great out of this service cut.
     
  7. Apr 19, 2018 #7

    Ryan

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    “Destroy” is a bit over the top, I think. We’re talking about a sub-18 hour trip that you’re asleep for the majority of.
     
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  8. Apr 19, 2018 #8

    Mystic River Dragon

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    Fair enough, Ryan--I forgot how short that trip is and that it's mostly overnight. But I do love my eggs for breakfast! However, for anyone going all the way to Chicago, there are certainly plenty of good breakfast places there.

    I think what annoyed me the most was that they are still charging the sleeper prices but cutting what you get, but pretending it's something better. Not even making it an "experiment" like they did with the Silver Star.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2018
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  9. Apr 19, 2018 #9

    jebr

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    The only thing I'm not liking is the lack of any hot food options being offered. It'd be nice if there was an option for a hot entree at least for lunch and dinner, especially if they extend this systemwide.

    Other than that, I'll easily take the tradeoff of unlimited soft drinks and a free nightcap over the diner car experience. The food was decent, but I'd always found it comparable to Denny's. If the dining car is still there (just unstaffed) I still have the option to enjoy it with other passengers, and it's possible that the entrees would be better quality than a diner-lite meal.
     
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  10. Apr 19, 2018 #10

    tommylicious

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    This is an unequivocal downgrade, mark my words.
     
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  11. Apr 19, 2018 #11

    Ryan

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    There is no way of saying that without seeing what the meals are like. Unlimited soda and (limited) free booze are an upgrade.
     
  12. Apr 19, 2018 #12

    Palmetto

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    The new choices certainly seem to be, IMHO.
     
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  13. Apr 19, 2018 #13

    seat38a

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    Yes but the free booze should keep you feeling nice and warm until your destination [​IMG]
     
  14. Apr 19, 2018 #14

    jebr

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    Not sure that a single nightcap will keep me warm all the way to my destination. [​IMG]
     
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  15. Apr 19, 2018 #15

    LookingGlassTie

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    Well, as long as I wouldn't be relegated to eating carry-on snacks at my seat or in my room........... [​IMG]
     
  16. Apr 19, 2018 #16

    seat38a

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    I firmly exercise my privilege as a sleeping car passenger and stop at BevMo before boarding [​IMG]
     
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  17. Apr 19, 2018 #17

    Mystic River Dragon

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    Soda and free booze are not an upgrade to those of us who don't drink soda or liquor. I want my eggs! (Although, to be fair, Amtrak's eggs don't compare with a real breakfast cooked in a real breakfast restaurant or--you knew this was coming--a south Jersey diner! [​IMG] .)

    What is BevMo?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2018
  18. Apr 19, 2018 #18

    seat38a

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    Amtrak could have just as well gone the route of the Silver Star. I remember the crying and moaning when that happened. I would definitely prefer the boxed meal vs the microwaved TV dinner on a plastic plate.

    Not sure who is going to provide the meals at the originating station but the PDX Empire Builder boxed meals are prepared and delivered by a local restaurant.
     
  19. Apr 19, 2018 #19

    rrdude

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    It could be worse. I do like the Comp Drink, wonder what the "amenity kit" is? Soap, a towel, and rubber-biscuit? Again, on a train with NO MORE than three meal periods, this might be tolerable. Hey, you wanted some variety from the National Menu? Here ya go!
     
  20. Apr 19, 2018 #20

    seat38a

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    Its a west coast thing. They specialize in wine/beer/alcohol. Think Liquor Store but big bright and the size of a supermarket.
     
  21. Apr 19, 2018 #21

    Northeastern292

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    Very disappointed. I remember my first LD trip and having the French toast while crossing Indiana on the Capitol Limited. I hope this move backfires.

    Sent from my Moto Z2 Play using Amtrak Forum mobile app
     
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  22. Apr 19, 2018 #22

    crescent-zephyr

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    Definitely going the airline model here... This is way better than the Silver Star as their are some upgrades (the amenity kit, soft drinks and alcahol) along with the downgrade.
     
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  23. Apr 19, 2018 #23

    the_traveler

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    I see what they say for sleeper passengers,but what about coachpassengers?[​IMG] Is the only choice for food items the cafe? That is what I read.
     
  24. Apr 19, 2018 #24

    seat38a

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    If anything, this program will probably a variation of what they already do on the EB. I'll take this over any microwaved TV dinner on a plastic plate.

    Boxed Meal Provided Out Of PDX

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Fried Chicken Loaded In Whitefish MT (This one had to be paid for. Not included.)

    [​IMG]

    Other traveler's pic

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  25. Apr 19, 2018 #25

    seat38a

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    Well the post says "Private Lounge or Cafe." Not sure what that means. I could mean no coach passengers in the car or a dedicated lounge or just bad wording. I would hope it does not mean that they will be throwing all the coach passengers out of the lounge/cafe during meal hours.
     
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