Not to sway you one way or another, but remembering how bad the food issue was on the Cardinal(which is similar, only has a cafe car but no dining car), I don't think it'd hurt you if you really wanted to, to see if the Amtrak staff would let you off to get something to eat while the train went over to Tampa, and then back. That all said, the only reason I'd be hesitant to do Waffle House, is how far south it appears to be on google maps, vs. where that station is located. And that, I'd probably just opt to get some food to go from somewhere within a few blocks of that station. As I'm not sure if you've ridden the Star before, but if you have ridden the Star before and through Tampa, I don't think it'd be a bad idea to get some food in Lakeland. If it were my first time riding this train through Tampa, I'd stay on board to see the scenery, and make sure you bring enough of your own food and snacks(at least food that won't spoil, as there's no guarantee that if you bring a cooler, you'll be able to get ice from the cafe car) on board the train before you leave Miami. Allegedly I've heard from others who've ridden sleeper cars before(though I didn't try to ask this, when I rode #8 east from Glacier National Park to Chicago as I didn't bring a cooler), that sometimes the SCA can provide you with ice if you need it for a cooler. Hopefully others can confirm, if what I supposedly heard was right or not.