Empire Builder Food

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Northwestern

Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 3, 2022
Messages
131
Location
Santa Rosa
I will be taking EB #28, Portland to Spokane, this summer. Then #8 on to Whitefish, MT.

Has anyone recently taken the Builder? Have they upgraded the roomettes or bedrooms? What about the quality of the food?
I took #28 a good 15 years ago. No diner on #28, as they served a "flex meal" cold tray of food. The food quality was very bad, nearly indigestible.
Have things improved?

Richard
 

Just-Thinking-51

Very bored and cranky pundit
Joined
Sep 17, 2009
Messages
2,534
Location
USA
Food is very subjective. What you like and what I like are different. The cold tray on the Portland section has received good comments in the past, from some.

The whole Amtrak experience is extremely variable based on the crew, supply issues, and your expected experience.

So have things improve from 15 years ago, maybe. They definitely improve from 5 years ago, but that was a low bar.

I hope you enjoy your trip, but sadly have to say you might just lower your expectations and be pleasant surprised when Amtrak exceed your low expectations.
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
3,650
Location
LAX
I will be taking EB #28, Portland to Spokane, this summer. Then #8 on to Whitefish, MT.

Has anyone recently taken the Builder? Have they upgraded the roomettes or bedrooms? What about the quality of the food?
I took #28 a good 15 years ago. No diner on #28, as they served a "flex meal" cold tray of food. The food quality was very bad, nearly indigestible.
Have things improved?

Richard
A few years ago (2016) on #28 the shrimp salad I had for dinner was pretty good. My wifes chicken salad as pretty good too. Both decent serving sizes. Don't know how it is now.
Better than "Flex".
I really enjoyed the "traditional" menu on western LD trains (same menu for all trains) this past year.
 

igor

Train Attendant
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Messages
35
I was on the Builder earlier this month. The sleeper I was in had the older seats, but newer blanket.

I thought the food was the best I'd had on Amtrak for a while. The lobster crab cake had a nice, spicy sauce, the mixed green salad was devoid of iceberg lettuce, and tasty.

I had the salmon, which was good. The sauce was very interesting. I thought the steak was good, but that plate was a bit too salty overall. I had it with the polenta. The cabernet reduction really tasted like red wine, which stood out to me.

The desserts were all solid. The cheesecake was the most pedestrian, and the flourless chocolate torte was the best.

I had the grilled cheese for lunch, which was both crispy and gooey. The upgrade to chips that weren't just potato chips was nice. I had the continental and omelettes for breakfast. The omelette was a little greasy, but the croissant with the continental was better than the ones I've had in the past.
 
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