Amtrak Dining

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

20th Century Rider

Conductor
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
1,897
Location
Oregon Coast
AMTRAK is VERY much aware of the total dissatisfaction with their nukeable garbage. Someone somewhere convinced them to spend a boatload of money developing this crap, and they probably have a warehousefull of it somewhere they don't want to write off.
Good Lord, if they had made an agreement with Stouffer or Marie Callender, or one of the manufacturers of stuff that is actually reasonably tasty, they would have saved themselves a lot of really bad PR.
Heads should roll on this one.
Yup... with extensive traveling on the TE and Eastern LD trains on an upcoming trip I am trying to come up with some kind of a food plan to keep myself from starving with the Amtrak poor offerings. Ordered Kosher meals on those sections which are bland but a little better than the disgusting flex 'non-food' rations. Seasoning salt, hot sauce, garlic powder, walnuts, peanut butter and happy juice. When I can get to a grocery store will buy prepared salad, a good loaf of bread, cheese, and fruit... and prepared chef's salad when I can find it. Nothing fancy but satisfying. Also have powdered coffee and no sugar lemonade mix... as I am trying to avoid carbs.

That and the sound of the horn... and the passing scenery... will make the trip a happy one.
 

20th Century Rider

Conductor
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
1,897
Location
Oregon Coast
Bread has carbs? No wonder my blood sugar jumps when I have a loaf of crusty Italian bread lathed with butter. Here, I thought it was the butter that was the sole problem!
A brown bread with nuts and seeds digests slower... slowing sugar getting into the blood... and two slices only are what many of us who try to be careful with sugar intake do. It tastes good... and when you compare this healthy sandwich bite with a flex meal... hmmm... ya know!
 

lordsigma

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Sep 15, 2017
Messages
1,373
I agree, the trains that should get traditional dining (first) are the Crescent, Cardinal, TE, and one of the Silvers. They're the longest route s
If they brought traditional dining back to more routes I SUSPECT it would be based on sleeper ridership - not trip length. I’d suspect It would be one or both silvers and the lake shore. Could be wrong - just my suspicion. Traditional dining means two food service cars - those are the only routes running with two right now.
 

Cal

Foamer
Joined
Jan 23, 2021
Messages
2,898
Location
Socal
If they brought traditional dining back to more routes I SUSPECT it would be based on sleeper ridership - not trip length. I’d suspect It would be one or both silvers and the lake shore. Could be wrong - just my suspicion. Traditional dining means two food service cars - those are the only routes running with two right now.
I agree, which is why I said should, not will.
 

denmarks

Train Travel Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 21, 2003
Messages
594
Location
Chico, CA
What is the main difference between Flexible and Traditional Dining? I do see that the menus are different. Which is better? Is traditional being phased in for all routes? What will the CZ have next April?
 

joelkfla

OBS Chief
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
908
Location
12 miles from Walt Disney World
What is the main difference between Flexible and Traditional Dining? I do see that the menus are different. Which is better? Is traditional being phased in for all routes? What will the CZ have next April?
Flex dining lunch & dinner is all premade & microwaved or convection oven reheated (depending upon whom you ask) and served in the cooking containers. Breakfast is a limited selection of packaged items. Dessert is limited to a packaged snack, usually a brownie or blondie.

Traditional dining is prepared by a full crew in the kitchen. Some people say that traditional dining fare is also premade and reheated or finished off in the kitchen, but obviously at least some items are cooked to order, e.g. steaks, French toast, and the Artisan Grilled Cheese. And everything is plated prior to bring served.
 

crescent-zephyr

Engineer
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
3,916
What is the main difference between Flexible and Traditional Dining? I do see that the menus are different. Which is better? Is traditional being phased in for all routes? What will the CZ have next April?
Flex is basically a TV dinner served in a disposable container. (I would take an Amy’s frozen dinner over any of the flex meals I’ve had).

“Traditional Dining” is restaurant style food with food prepared like in a standard commercial kitchen for a chain restaurant like Applebee’s.
 

CTANut

Service Attendant
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
135
Location
USA
Flex dining lunch & dinner is all premade & microwaved or convection oven reheated (depending upon whom you ask) and served in the cooking containers. Breakfast is a limited selection of packaged items. Dessert is limited to a packaged snack, usually a brownie or blondie.

Traditional dining is prepared by a full crew in the kitchen. Some people say that traditional dining fare is also premade and reheated or finished off in the kitchen, but obviously at least some items are cooked to order, e.g. steaks, French toast, and the Artisan Grilled Cheese. And everything is plated prior to bring served.
I guess we can ask @Triley.
 

Triley

Real Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 14, 2008
Messages
1,510
Location
Somewhere between VAC and EUG
I guess we can ask @Triley.
What’s the question you’d like me to jump on? How flex meals are cooked? What the menu will be like come April?

Or maybe @Acela150 (Hope you're doing good since the derailment, btw!)
I wanted to make a joke, but I don’t want to detract from the seriousness of the Builder derailment.

i was in a very minor derailment after hitting a pickup truck three weeks ago, and I still find myself preparing for a jolt after I hear a horn pattern that seems a little too long.

My heart goes out to everyonewho was involved.
 

CTANut

Service Attendant
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
135
Location
USA
What’s the question you’d like me to jump on? How flex meals are cooked? What the menu will be like come April?



I wanted to make a joke, but I don’t want to detract from the seriousness of the Builder derailment.

i was in a very minor derailment after hitting a pickup truck three weeks ago, and I still find myself preparing for a jolt after I hear a horn pattern that seems a little too long.

My heart goes out to everyonewho was involved.
Both.
 

20th Century Rider

Conductor
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
1,897
Location
Oregon Coast
I think current traditional dining is better than Applebees these days!
As most know, the Flex program was 'enhanced' a few days ago. The slight improvement is that the meals have more taste and texture... and the salmon I had was quite good. But they continue to be too small to actually be called a meal. As a 'tapas' dish
combined with other small dishes, there could be enough 'quantity' to call it a meal. Or if the size was doubled, these could be considered a full meal. But as is now, it's a snack meal.

The salad can't be called a 'course' because it's just about one bite of food... as a 'course' item, the salad should be much larger and contain some kind of cheese and / or croutons.

The small packaged brownie, while rich and satisfying, gets old because there is no variety.

I would like to see the meals include: high quality packaged salads / perhaps a larger salad with protein as a chef salad, sandwiches, variety of desserts... and if prep resources are limited... these could easily be stored in refrigerated areas. But there is no reason why there can't be more quantity and variety on single night journeys... where fares are as high as the planes flying above. Flex meals deserve a D- due to lack of variety and quantity. To eat better bring along your own food.

IMG_0324.jpg


IMG_0320.jpg
 

lordsigma

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Sep 15, 2017
Messages
1,373
As most know, the Flex program was 'enhanced' a few days ago. The slight improvement is that the meals have more taste and texture... and the salmon I had was quite good. But they continue to be too small to actually be called a meal. As a 'tapas' dish
combined with other small dishes, there could be enough 'quantity' to call it a meal. Or if the size was doubled, these could be considered a full meal. But as is now, it's a snack meal.

The salad can't be called a 'course' because it's just about one bite of food... as a 'course' item, the salad should be much larger and contain some kind of cheese and / or croutons.

The small packaged brownie, while rich and satisfying, gets old because there is no variety.

I would like to see the meals include: high quality packaged salads / perhaps a larger salad with protein as a chef salad, sandwiches, variety of desserts... and if prep resources are limited... these could easily be stored in refrigerated areas. But there is no reason why there can't be more quantity and variety on single night journeys... where fares are as high as the planes flying above. Flex meals deserve a D- due to lack of variety and quantity. To eat better bring along your own food.

View attachment 24896


View attachment 24897
Let us know how the breakfasts are if you have it. It appears the omlette was replaced with a new omlette and there is also a french toast option. I have also heard there is going to be a new breakfast sandwich to replace the Jimmy Dean - a bialy with sausage egg and cheese but that won't be available right away the thing I saw is target end of the month for that.
 

20th Century Rider

Conductor
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
1,897
Location
Oregon Coast
Let us know how the breakfasts are if you have it. It appears the omlette was replaced with a new omlette and there is also a french toast option. I have also heard there is going to be a new breakfast sandwich to replace the Jimmy Dean - a bialy with sausage egg and cheese but that won't be available right away the thing I saw is target end of the month for that.
It was small but very good… ask for tobacco for a bit of a kick. I don’t like a big breakfast as it weighs down… so this was excellent for me😇
 

20th Century Rider

Conductor
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
1,897
Location
Oregon Coast
You betcha! I get my Popeye muscles from those massive salads!

BTW just boarded the TE at BLM for CHI running 2 hrs late so ya can’t say ‘at least the trains run on time!’🤣😝🧐
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cal
Joined
Oct 8, 2021
Messages
3
Location
Buffalo, NY
I'm heading from Buffalo, NY to Seattle (EB), then Coast Starlight to LA, then Southwest Chief back to Buffalo...Should I be good for traditional dining other than the Buffalo to Chicago and Chicago to Buffalo LSL segments? (Which are pretty much sleeping the whole way both times based on schedule, maybe breakfast)...
 
Top