Amtrak Dining and Cafe Service discussion 2024 H1

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Is there any free drinkable water in coach? I am going from LAX to SEA tomorrow.
If you want bottled water, it'll be for sale in the lower level of the Sightseer Lounge car. Water is free from the car's tank and in over 50 years of sipping it, I've never had a problem. One tip: save your drink cup, because they may not be restocked.
 
Is there any free drinkable water in coach? I am going from LAX to SEA tomorrow.
I am going on a long coach trip this fall and will be taking along a large plastic cup with a water filter built in. Britta makes them and i purchased one for 20$ at Walmart. One filter supposedly lasts about 2 months.
 
Yes and no. There are vegans who only eat beans, or who forego the faux meat all together because they don't care for it or are allergic. But it absolutely limits options when dining out, often to just a salad or vegetables. Most end up carrying food or simply eating before / after, but that is not an easy option on a long distance train ride. Before the advent of the faux meats it was actually easier, as many places did some type of dish that was bean based which is the least likely of the non-meat proteins to cause issues.

In the case of Amtrak, if someone is vegan AND has allergies to gluten & faux meat protein sources....it leaves nothing beyond perhaps fresh fruit at breakfast. Maybe a salad if one is lucky and croutons & cheese is packaged separately.

Even my daughter, with only a few allergies {nuts, peanut, oat, avocado and shellfish}, has minimal options for each meal. She can risk a few others given her oat issues are easily controlled & not life threatening, but it is a gamble that may make her feel bad for the rest of the trip.

It also makes me wonder - does Amtrak do anything for those requiring Kosher meals? I don't think there's anything on the menu that works with Kosher either, given the meat & dairy separation rules.

It shouldn't be difficult to allow one to uncouple the meals for medical or religious reasons.
https://www.amtrak.com/special-menus-special-dietary-requirements
"
Kosher meals on overnight trains and Acela First Class are prepared under rabbinical supervision and sealed until delivered to the passenger. Passover kosher meals will be served in lieu of regular kosher meals throughout the Passover period.


Advance notice prior to the train’s origin station departure is required for kosher meals:


  • Overnight trains: 72 hours notice required
  • Acela First class: 24 hours notice required

To reserve your kosher meal, call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245). TTY service is available at 1-800-523-6590."

The page may answer a few other items too, Vegan, Low Fat, Low Cholesterol, Low Sodium, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Peanut Free Meals and Allergies are talked about.

I have never tried any of these special options mentioned.
 
Yes and no. There are vegans who only eat beans, or who forego the faux meat all together because they don't care for it or are allergic. But it absolutely limits options when dining out, often to just a salad or vegetables. Most end up carrying food or simply eating before / after, but that is not an easy option on a long distance train ride. Before the advent of the faux meats it was actually easier, as many places did some type of dish that was bean based which is the least likely of the non-meat proteins to cause issues.

In the case of Amtrak, if someone is vegan AND has allergies to gluten & faux meat protein sources....it leaves nothing beyond perhaps fresh fruit at breakfast. Maybe a salad if one is lucky and croutons & cheese is packaged separately.

Even my daughter, with only a few allergies {nuts, peanut, oat, avocado and shellfish}, has minimal options for each meal. She can risk a few others given her oat issues are easily controlled & not life threatening, but it is a gamble that may make her feel bad for the rest of the trip.

It also makes me wonder - does Amtrak do anything for those requiring Kosher meals? I don't think there's anything on the menu that works with Kosher either, given the meat & dairy separation rules.

It shouldn't be difficult to allow one to uncouple the meals for medical or religious reasons.
Amtrak kosher meals are basically like Flex dining, except that they give you more food. They're frozen and reheated as needed.
 
Amtrak kosher meals are basically like Flex dining, except that they give you more food. They're frozen and reheated as needed.
The term "kosher" refers to food that follows Jewish dietary law. It requires strict preparation and chosen ingredients. For instance Dairy and Meat cannot be combined in the same meal. It may or may not taste better than an ordinary "Flex" meal.
 
The term "kosher" refers to food that follows Jewish dietary law. It requires strict preparation and chosen ingredients. For instance Dairy and Meat cannot be combined in the same meal. It may or may not taste better than an ordinary "Flex" meal.
I believe a kosher meal would also work for those who require halal meat, as kosher meat is required to meet standards at least as strict (probably stricter) than halal meat. (Not Jewish or Muslim here, but that's what I've read.)
 
I think it's time for a Menu refresh, the current menu for Western Trains has been around since full service started back up after Covid
I’m guessing these are new because my attendant didn’t know what I was talking about when I ordered a meal to the room.

On the 422(5).
 

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I just noticed that there is no baked potatoes for dinner now. As others have mentioned - the baked potato with chili was my favorite lunch item as well. I really don't like the impossible burgers that much - I still miss the Amtrak Black Bean Veggie burgers from the good ole days so the baked potato was my new go to.
 
I’m guessing these are new because my attendant didn’t know what I was talking about when I ordered a meal to the room.
I was on the Coast Starlight last weekend, and these menus had just appeared.

I tried the chocolate spoon cake, which was like a slice of chocolate mouse, and the patty melt, which was like a hamburger on sliced bread, but with caramelized onions instead of lettuce and tomato.

The patty melt was a surprise to me, since there are already two other hamburger-ish meals on the lunch menu. The patty melt was good, and quite filling.
 
I just noticed that there is no baked potatoes for dinner now. As others have mentioned - the baked potato with chili was my favorite lunch item as well. I really don't like the impossible burgers that much - I still miss the Amtrak Black Bean Veggie burgers from the good ole days so the baked potato was my new go to.
I used to order the Black Bean Burger with cheese and bacon.

The looks I would get from the Amtrak staff was priceless.
 
I just noticed that there is no baked potatoes for dinner now. As others have mentioned - the baked potato with chili was my favorite lunch item as well. I really don't like the impossible burgers that much - I still miss the Amtrak Black Bean Veggie burgers from the good ole days so the baked potato was my new go to.
No baked potato. 😡
 
I just noticed that there is no baked potatoes for dinner now. As others have mentioned - the baked potato with chili was my favorite lunch item as well. I really don't like the impossible burgers that much - I still miss the Amtrak Black Bean Veggie burgers from the good ole days so the baked potato was my new go to.
Same here. I dislike "fake food." Black bean burgers are delicious in their own right, relatively unprocessed, and aren't pretending to be something else.
 
I'm not sure there were truly baked potatoes. Microwaved potatoes aren't really the same as baked. They don't have that fluffy goodness.
Whatever they were I liked them. :D But then again as people who know me will tell you I am not really a connoisseur of food either ;)
 
I'm not sure there were truly baked potatoes. Microwaved potatoes aren't really the same as baked. They don't have that fluffy goodness.
They would still have made that vegan chili extra-filling, though.

Does anyone have any photos of the current dining offerings on the Texas Eagle between SAS and CHI?
This is the current Flexible Dining menu for the TE between Chicago and San Antonio, per the Amtrak website.
 
I had several amtrak waiters ask me if I wanted bacon on mine... the regular riders knew that was the best thing on the lunch menu! Of course cheese is still vegetarian so that's not unusual.
We used to call them " Cheater" Burgers since they definitely weren't Veggie loaded up!( but were delicious!)

Bring 'em back!
 
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