Amtrak Dining

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Cal

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I am years late to this thread, but in some catch-up reading, east coast LD trains are getting traditional dining back? Is this insider information, or is there some official announcement that I could let some friends know about?
From what I can tell, an insider said that eastern trains may be getting full service dining with linen and china late this year.
 

fdaley

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I am years late to this thread, but in some catch-up reading, east coast LD trains are getting traditional dining back? Is this insider information, or is there some official announcement that I could let some friends know about?
There hasn't been any official announcement of any change to the eastern trains. I believe there was an Amtrak official who spoke to a passengers group and suggested we'd be hearing good news about food service on the eastern LD trains, perhaps later in the year.

So at a minimum, there is some awareness on the part of management that customers are really unhappy with the current level of service. That's an improvement from telling us that millennials actually prefer the flex food.
 

tim49424

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Anderson and company did not introduce Flex-Meals because they thought they will win a popularity contest with it.
Maybe I’m being naive here and this is a completely stupid question but why did Amtrak constantly promote over the last year the flex meals as an upgrade and the best thing since sliced bread? Was I misinterpreting someone in their promotions?
 

Tlcooper93

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Never understood the flex. Why is there always an assumption that us millennials don't prefer nicer things. Not sure where they got the info that we want flex dining, but a lot of us grew up taking trains with real dining. The assumption that all the sudden we want a childhood staple gone is just plain wrong.
 

jis

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Never understood the flex. Why is there always an assumption that us millennials don't prefer nicer things. Not sure where they got the info that we want flex dining, but a lot of us grew up taking trains with real dining. The assumption that all the sudden we want a childhood staple gone is just plain wrong.
The Millennials were mere convenient pawns in a messaging game. Under different conjured up story lines it could as well have been any other convenient group. When you are basically lying you just pick whatever seems conveient at the moment, and then try your darndest to make it stick by repeated assertion. (Haven't we just seen a much more egregious case of exactly this behavior within the last six months from a former chief executive of another large organization?) Amtrak has never done a study worth the paper it is written on establishing what the Millennials want about anything. They just cooked up a random story.
 

me_little_me

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Never understood the flex. Why is there always an assumption that us millennials don't prefer nicer things. Not sure where they got the info that we want flex dining, but a lot of us grew up taking trains with real dining. The assumption that all the sudden we want a childhood staple gone is just plain wrong.
We know you secretly admired Anderson for "honoring" you and you are probably stocking up those flex meals so you don't have to go back to your grandparents' house and eat the traditional homemade freshly cooked meals with real ingredients that you so ardently detest. I'm going to recommend Amtrak offer to have them delivered by DoorDash to you for only $49.99 as soon as they go back to something better. Or you can buy a 10 pack of them on COSTCO for only $50.

So don't feel bad about admitting it. We promise to not attack you for your admission.
 

Sidney

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Maybe I’m being naive here and this is a completely stupid question but why did Amtrak constantly promote over the last year the flex meals as an upgrade and the best thing since sliced bread? Was I misinterpreting someone in their promotions?
Never in my life have I seen such a positive spin on one the biggest blunders in Amtrak's history. Anderson was the worst CEO Amtrak ever had.
 

tim49424

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Never in my life have I seen such a positive spin on one the biggest blunders in Amtrak's history. Anderson was the worst CEO Amtrak ever had.
It was just plain horrible and I’ve eaten too many of the flex meals (actually one is too many, but I’m talking about half a dozen or so) to last me several lifetimes. I need a nice flat iron steak, cooked medium rare, with a baked potato to cleanse my palate from that mess. Hopefully, soon!
 

RRrich

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I thought it is/was the ANTIFA you remember. the guys who beat the AXIS in WWII that preferred FLEX - you know like K-Rations
 

crescent-zephyr

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Unpopular opinion here, but the flex meals are not as terrible as most people say. Are they good? No. Should they be served on Amtrak? No. But are they terrible? No.
The best for me is breakfast. I could have oatmeal or Cheerios, yogurt, and fruit and that resembles a normal “at home” or coffee shop breakfast for me.

None of the lunch and dinner options resemble anything I would eat at home or order in a restaurant.
 

me_little_me

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The best for me is breakfast. I could have oatmeal or Cheerios, yogurt, and fruit and that resembles a normal “at home” or coffee shop breakfast for me.

None of the lunch and dinner options resemble anything I would eat at home or order in a restaurant.
For me, even that is bad. I generally have oatmeal but not the pre-sweetened kind like offered by Amtrak or the other sweetened cereals. I have nuts and unsweetened black coffee in my oatmeal. Once a week or so, I'll have an egg and once a fresh muffin from a local bakery where I stop on my way to volunteer. It's made without ingredients that have more than two syllables.

I can get the black coffee on Amtrak. The egg when I last took a train was attached to cheese, chemically enhanced sausage, sodium by the carload and rubber bread with long syllable ingredients. It tasted like it sounds. The rest of the stuff, including the "blueberry muffin", starts with sugar and goes downhill from there. At least the fruit was real.
 

Devil's Advocate

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Never understood the flex. Why is there always an assumption that us millennials don't prefer nicer things. Not sure where they got the info that we want flex dining, but a lot of us grew up taking trains with real dining. The assumption that all the sudden we want a childhood staple gone is just plain wrong.
There are things that millennials seem to enjoy that I find personally unappetizing, such as sugary cocktails, sweet and sour beer, cookie dough ice cream, & egg white omelettes, but I've never seen them gravitate toward UGLY food. The idea that millennials would pay big bucks to eat reheated casserole out of a cheap plastic tray made zero sense to me.

Unpopular opinion here, but the flex meals are not as terrible as most people say. Are they good? No. Should they be served on Amtrak? No. But are they terrible? No.
You didn't think it was a terrible value, in that you were paying hundreds or perhaps thousands of dollars plus injesting a ton of calories and sodium to eat reheated casserole?
 
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Cal

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You didn't think it was a terrible value, in that you were paying hundreds or perhaps thousands of dollars plus injesting a ton of calories and sodium to eat reheated casserole?
It most certainly is a terrible value, and Amtrak prices are high in general. And the point about the sodium is valid. But my point is, people are still eating them, despite whether or not they like them. And even some people on this forum have said some of them taste fine. So while they definitely aren't ideal, Amtrak could've done worse.

Hopefully flex meals are replaced forever by the end of 2021 though.
 

Amtrakfflyer

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Anderson had no issue lying to peoples faces including US Senators with cities along the line of the SWC. We can be politically correct or we can just call it what it is. How about the premium bedding that was supposed to be on trains 2 years ago now, or new diners that were in shop to be retrofitted as lounges with convection ovens? They wanted to kill the LD lines and the true facts were not on their side hence the ”alternate facts” that were so in vogue during that time period.

Maybe I’m being naive here and this is a completely stupid question but why did Amtrak constantly promote over the last year the flex meals as an upgrade and the best thing since sliced bread? Was I misinterpreting someone in their promotions?
 

jis

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Currently? Or ever? Dare I ask what you typically eat? Haha
In general I do not eat much western food at home. 😏

My point was that at least I have very low expectation of getting what I really like anywhere in the generic diner foods in the US. Actually airlines on international flights manage to do a much better job in coming up with stuff that I find really likeable among food served in transportation modes.

OTOH, there is a lot of second level likeable stuff that is available and I am in general a much more tolerant of change kind of person than most, so I don't whinge about food as much as many people do.
 

crescent-zephyr

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For me, even that is bad. I generally have oatmeal but not the pre-sweetened kind like offered by Amtrak or the other sweetened cereals.
Same. At home I use Bobs Red Mill organic extra thick oatmeal! I would prefer the “traditional dining” oatmeal over the pre-sweetened option as well but again, at least it resembles what I eat.
 
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