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20th Century Rider

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Pacific Parlour Car came pretty close to checking that box.
Yes it does... but does that define it as a speciality restaurant?... what would be the definition of what a speciality restaurant would be on an Amtrak train? And just what is the speciality food that was served? Was it regional? Was it some kind of ethnic or ethnic mix? The parlour car served meals which were probably a step above what was served in the dining car... perhaps 'California Cuisine... but does that make it a speciality restaurant of Cali Cuisine speciality food? Maybe it does.

Here is a fun take on what 'speciality restaurant' on a traveling train might mean... but even this doesn't seem to answer the question???...

 

Bob Dylan

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Although it wasn't Amtrak equipment, while Iowa Pacific was running the Dome/ Diner on the Hoosier State and the Sleeper and Diner/Lounge on the City of New Orleans, that seems Special to me!
 

crescent-zephyr

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Was it regional?
Yes. I had a pasta dish with Beechers cheese. (Beechers is made in Seattle in Pike place market). I had an entree salad with apples from either Washington or Oregon. And I had wines from all 3 states.

I’d put the parlor car up with any specialty dining from railroad history (in the good days... towards the end it wasn’t quite as good.)

Although it wasn't Amtrak equipment, while Iowa Pacific was running the Dome/ Diner on the Hoosier State and the Sleeper and Diner/Lounge on the City of New Orleans, that seems Special to me!
Yes!!! I’m so glad I got to experience both when I could.
 

Bob Dylan

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Yes. I had a pasta dish with Beechers cheese. (Beechers is made in Seattle in Pike place market). I had an entree salad with apples from either Washington or Oregon. And I had wines from all 3 states.

I’d put the parlor car up with any specialty dining from railroad history (in the good days... towards the end it wasn’t quite as good.)



Yes!!! I’m so glad I got to experience both when I could.
I'm sorry I missed them!😣
 

Devil's Advocate

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I’d put the parlor car up with any specialty dining from railroad history (in the good days... towards the end it wasn’t quite as good.)
I enjoyed many aspects of the PPC but my experience with the dining component was honestly rather disappointing. They seated me for breakfast with a teaspoon or two of stale potatoes and dried out eggs stuck in the tray corners. The PPC has no kitchen and is not restocked so that was all there would ever be. For lunch I asked for no dressing on my sandwich but the server said it was made off-train and only came one way no matter how you ordered it. Watching them carry in the dinner trays hours before dining started made me wonder why they bothered. It just seemed like a waste of a good idea. The design, views, furniture, decor, and (original) wine tasting were really pleasant though.
 
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IndyLions

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But we're already paying an arm and a leg to eat the teenie tiny dehumanizing tasteless disgusting flex meals. Amtrak will never have a 'speciality restaurant' and we are already paying 'speciality restaurant' pricing. So why discuss this???
You are paying an arm and a leg.
You aren’t paying an arm and a leg for food.

You are paying an arm and a leg for a sleeper service, which is limited in supply, and has sufficient demand to be filled at the current prices, pandemic aside.

The role bad food does play - is as a demand reducer – and if it gets bad enough for long enough demand will drop below supply.

It has reached that point for you and many others. I still take it, but no longer recommend it to others as a vacation experience.

Let’s just hope Amtrak gets somebody competent in charge of food service soon. Because even with the current given limitations, it could be executed sooooooo much better.

And somebody competent would also recognize that the marginal cost is low to add optional, high margin items to those with disposable income.
 

20th Century Rider

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You are paying an arm and a leg.
You aren’t paying an arm and a leg for food.

You are paying an arm and a leg for a sleeper service, which is limited in supply, and has sufficient demand to be filled at the current prices, pandemic aside.

The role bad food does play - is as a demand reducer – and if it gets bad enough for long enough demand will drop below supply.

It has reached that point for you and many others. I still take it, but no longer recommend it to others as a vacation experience.

Let’s just hope Amtrak gets somebody competent in charge of food service soon. Because even with the current given limitations, it could be executed sooooooo much better.

And somebody competent would also recognize that the marginal cost is low to add optional, high margin items to those with disposable income.
Food is part of sleeper pricing... which is extremely high... and like many have said, reducing the food diminishes the value and integrity of the product. And yes, it is also based on demand... with bucket levels. But this seems to have changed as the prices are soaring in cars that are not full. I do believe the poor quality of food remains an issue... and in that way many are paying way too much for sleeper accommodations. That includes paying an arm and a leg for bad food.
 

20th Century Rider

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Yes. I had a pasta dish with Beechers cheese. (Beechers is made in Seattle in Pike place market). I had an entree salad with apples from either Washington or Oregon. And I had wines from all 3 states.

I’d put the parlor car up with any specialty dining from railroad history (in the good days... towards the end it wasn’t quite as good.)



Yes!!! I’m so glad I got to experience both when I could.
I stand corrected... when Amtrak served food and wine from regions it serves; and employed chefs to create regional specialities, that was indeed speciality dining. It would be nice to see it come back! 😇
 

20th Century Rider

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You are paying an arm and a leg.
You aren’t paying an arm and a leg for food.

You are paying an arm and a leg for a sleeper service, which is limited in supply, and has sufficient demand to be filled at the current prices, pandemic aside.

The role bad food does play - is as a demand reducer – and if it gets bad enough for long enough demand will drop below supply.

It has reached that point for you and many others. I still take it, but no longer recommend it to others as a vacation experience.

Let’s just hope Amtrak gets somebody competent in charge of food service soon. Because even with the current given limitations, it could be executed sooooooo much better.

And somebody competent would also recognize that the marginal cost is low to add optional, high margin items to those with disposable income.
Even before the pandemic, the full service dining was considered way too high by many... and was considered an important part of the value of sleeper fares.

 

20th Century Rider

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Well, I'll take the Turquose Room on the Super Chief!🥰😉
Yes, but the apex of all my railroad dreams was when I went to the restaurant on the Mainstreeter enroute to SEA and was advised that if I was hungry... to get the Idaho Baked Potato. That has got to be one of the best meals I have ever enjoyed... and I didn't leave a single crumb. Mmmm was that good! 😊 😇🤩

BigPotato64.jpg
 

jiml

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Yes, but the apex of all my railroad dreams was when I went to the restaurant on the Mainstreeter enroute to SEA and was advised that if I was hungry... to get the Idaho Baked Potato. That has got to be one of the best meals I have ever enjoyed... and I didn't leave a single crumb. Mmmm was that good! 😊 😇🤩

View attachment 20276
I've always wondered where they found a consistent supply of potatoes that size.
 

Devil's Advocate

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All I want is Fred Harvey-quality cuisine and diner ambiance.
Just stayed at the old one converted to a hotel in Las Vegas, NM. Worth a stay if anyone is in the area.
So long as you don't mind it having nothing to do with Amtrak you can find Fred Harvey style dining in several locations. You can also combine the two in a place like Winslow AZ. It's not perfect but it can work with some effort.
 
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Bob Dylan

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So long as you don't mind it having nothing to do with Amtrak you can find Fred Harvey style dining in several locations. You can also combine the two in a place like Winslow AZ. It's not perfect but it can work with some effort.
Although it's not in the Original Location as the authentic Harvey House was, the Beautiful Kansas City Union Station has a Harvey House Deli that several AUers had Lunch in during our Day Trip on the Missouri River Runner during the St. Louis Gathering.
 

Bob Dylan

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I'll see your Fred Harvey dinner in the Turqoise Room, and raise you a "King's Dinner" on the Panama Limited....😋
One of my fantasies since I actually got to ride on the Super Chief ( but only ate in the Diner, not the Turquoise Room) but didnt get to ride the Panama Ltd.

The closest I came was riding on the Southern run Crescent which had outstanding food and service in the Diner as you probably know.
 

IndyLions

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I really enjoyed the PPC experience. The atmosphere of the car probably enhanced the meal though.
That was my experience too. The environment can really make a difference.

When they were serving meals on the short-lived Hoosier State Dome Lounge, they were only really serving basic food. I think I had a cheeseburger. But eating on a moving train in that nice environment was terrific – and it just made the food taste all the better.

The new Viewliner II Diners are no PPC or Iowa Pacific Dome - but they are nice cars – they really are. Which goes to show you how badly they’ve screwed up the whole food service experience. Say what you will about the taste of the food – I don’t like it but I haven’t starved yet from Flex meals. But aside from the TV dinner food - the whole procedure with food distributed in bags like it’s some sort of takeout, or the way breakfast is set up with a bunch of cereal boxes like you’re at a Hampton Inn. The experience is just not enjoyable, and I’m no snob.
 
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An exceptional PPC experience was when a service attendant named Barbara brought her own spices to add to the canned mix and made "killer" Bloody Marys. Word got out among the PPC passengers how good they were and she made so many she ran out of some of the main ingredients. Great way to start the morning!
I emailed Amtrak about her exceptional service.
 

railiner

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Mar 20, 2009
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Palm Beach County
An exceptional PPC experience was when a service attendant named Barbara brought her own spices to add to the canned mix and made "killer" Bloody Marys. Word got out among the PPC passengers how good they were and she made so many she ran out of some of the main ingredients. Great way to start the morning!
I emailed Amtrak about her exceptional service.
Great that you took the time to commend an employee for outstanding service...most only do that to complain.
As for her bringing her own ingredients...not sure if management would frown upon that practice, as it may be against Company regulation's, due to FDA or other consideration's that could open liability issues....not sure....
 
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