Contemporary Dining for Capitol Limited and Lake Shore Limited

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by kendawgbyrd, Aug 14, 2018.

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  1. Aug 14, 2018 #1
    So as I understand this press release, there will be enhanced menu available for sleeping car passengers to eat in their rooms?

    But the Dining Car and Cafe Cars are still available to patrons first come first served.

    But the Dining Car in particular will have no at-table dining service?

    Is this true?
     
  2. Aug 14, 2018 #2

    Ryan

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    Essentially, yes.

    The menu is now completely different, with all pre-prepared meals, only one of which is heated. Check out the route specific menus posted on Amtrak's site.
     
  3. Aug 14, 2018 #3

    jis

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    Another difference is that Coach passengers are no longer allowed in what used to be the Dining Car, and is now called the Sleeper Lounge Car.
     
  4. Aug 14, 2018 #4

    cpotisch

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    Firstly, the whole thing about the food being modern and better is marketing nonsense. In almost every measurable way, the new system is worse. Instead of hot meals and table service, you know have to put up with a limited selection of mostly cold boxed meals. You can no longer choose your dessert, since the desserts are put into each boxed meal ahead of time.

    You can get answers to all your questions and more in these threads:

    Amtrak's New "Fresh Choices" Dining on CL & LSL
    Lake Shore Limited, Capitol Limited Rider New Menu Reviews
    July Changes to Lake Shore and Capitol Limited Dining
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 14, 2018
  5. Aug 14, 2018 #5

    Ryan

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    Except for the part where some people *who have actually had the new meals* found them better.

    How many of the new style meals have you had?
     
  6. Aug 14, 2018 #6

    cpotisch

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    When it comes to selection, sodium and sugar content, and options for those with dietary restrictions and diabetes, the new system is objectively worse. I said in "almost every measurable way", which does not include whether or not the meals are tastier than what was offered before. And nonetheless, people are split on that aspect anyway.
     
  7. Aug 14, 2018 #7

    Ryan

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    Personally, I would consider taste to be pretty high up there on evaluating "how good was that meal I just ate".

    You didn't mention how many of the new meals you've sampled. I'm sure our guest would appreciate knowing how knowledgeable the people (s)he's getting advice from are.
     
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  8. Aug 14, 2018 #8

    cpotisch

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    I haven't had them. Which is why I'm speaking to the objective aspects of the new system. It seems like the consensus is pretty split on whether the contemporary food is better or worse than what we had before. But there objectively are fewer options for those with dietary restrictions now. There objectively is less flexibility with how you have your meal prepared or what's in it. That is what I'm pointing out.
     
  9. Aug 14, 2018 #9

    jis

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    It has also been shown objectively that as far as nutritional value goes, a complete old meal is not much different from a complete new meal. Of course no one is required to eat the entire meal, old or new.
     
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  10. Aug 14, 2018 #10

    pennyk

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    Skipping dessert on the new or old meals will make a big difference nutritionally. Even though the dessert is included in the box for the new meals, you are not required to eat the dessert.
     
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  11. Aug 14, 2018 #11

    jis

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    Meanwhile I have created quite a stash of Kashi Bars [​IMG] And probably would also have a stash of Blueberry Muffins if they were as durable as Kashi Bars [​IMG]
     
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  12. Aug 14, 2018 #12

    pennyk

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    I "recycled" both my blueberry muffin and Kashi Bar.
     
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  13. Aug 15, 2018 #13

    AG1

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    I had two boxed meals served to me Monday 8-13-2018 in the diner lounge on the LSL, the hot short rib beef box meal for late lunch and the cold antipasto cold cuts with cheeses for dinner. I would rate both meals as good and filling for a 230 pounder like me. All sleeper passengers were called to the diner lounge too hear an informative talk by the service attendant. The options given were to be served at the tables, order at the tables for carry out, or to have your meals delivered to your room. Most people stayed and had their orders taken right then, although the option of coming for "any meal at any time" was given. The unlimited soft drinks and the one free alcoholic drink availability was highly stressed. From my ordering the hot meal and two juice drinks to delivery at the table was 10 minutes. The table turn over was fast. Most people self disposed of all the packaging and waste themselves in three trash boxes on exiting. The attendant followed up with table clearing and cleaning.

    The attendant did not seem stressed handling two sleeper cars of passengers and was not surly like so many servers in the past.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2018
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  14. Sep 13, 2019 at 2:52 PM #14

    lordsigma

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    Well here it is folks, this now on Amtrak's website under dining. They are now using two new names to describe dining car services. Contemporary dining is now called flexible dining and the traditional dining car service on the western trains will now be known as "traditional dining". They have refreshed the entrees for the flexible dining (all options are now hot) and there is now a lighter kid's choice for a kids meal:

    https://www.amtrak.com/onboard/meals-dining/flexible-dining.html
     
  15. Sep 13, 2019 at 6:15 PM #15

    jiml

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    It's interesting to see the Cardinal mentioned, leading to the question whether it will finally get a "dining" car as opposed to the 1/2 Am-dinette thing. It would seem that the newer dining plus the promise of sleeper lounge space would make this necessary.
     
  16. Sep 13, 2019 at 6:16 PM #16

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    If the internal document that leaked a while back is correct, the cardinal indeed receives a Viewliner dining car.
     
  17. Sep 13, 2019 at 6:22 PM #17

    jiml

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    Well I guess that's one positive.
     
  18. Sep 13, 2019 at 6:34 PM #18

    jis

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    It lists the trains that get the Flexible Dining product in the Flexible Dining page, which presumably comes packaged in a Viewliner II Diner ... err .. Sleeper Lounge Car.
     
  19. Sep 13, 2019 at 6:40 PM #19

    lordsigma

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    Understood on that point - I was just commenting additionally that the document that was floating around the various discussion boards back in August directly stated what the consists would be in each train and directly mentioned that the Cardinal would receive a Viewliner as part of this.
     
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  20. Sep 13, 2019 at 6:41 PM #20

    PRR 60

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    If the photo is accurate, it looks like the dinners will be served using a tray, not a box.

    Capture.JPG
     
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  21. Sep 13, 2019 at 8:19 PM #21

    crescent-zephyr

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    It’s so contemporary! So flexible! I can’t wait!

    At least they have marked some options as gluten free.
     
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  22. Sep 13, 2019 at 10:51 PM #22

    John Bredin

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    One free alcoholic drink and free soft drinks is not much, but it's something. I might even call it flexible. :)
     
  23. Sep 14, 2019 at 12:07 AM #23

    Sauve850

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    A tray would be better than the box. When you unpack the box it takes up half a booth. Pic doesnt show salt, pepper or salad dressing but the wood table is nice :)
     
  24. Sep 14, 2019 at 12:43 AM #24

    Rasputin

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    That is another reason why they should call these cars picnic table cars instead of dining cars.
     
  25. Sep 15, 2019 at 3:40 AM #25

    Manny T

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    The breakfast menu doesn't appear to list hard boiled eggs as an offering any longer.

    Probably not enough added refined sugar and salt to warrant keeping them on Amtrak's menu.
     

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