New Traditional Dining Menu

Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

zephyr17

Engineer
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
6,300
Location
Washington State
When I rode the Builder, SW Chief and Starlight in November, we had salad AND appetizer on all three trains at dinner. Don't recall if the salad appeared on the menu.

The salad served was a big improvement on the sad, limp, often brownish salads that were a hallmark of the last iterations of the old traditional dining.
 

crescent-zephyr

Engineer
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
4,186
You should be able to order the entree salad from lunch for dinner - if available of course so there is still an entree salad option available.
 

crescent-zephyr

Engineer
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
4,186
Bottom line, with food you can't please everybody. Simply impossible. It is good news Amtrak is back in the game of experimenting with quality and in some cases taking a few chances.
Sometimes this type of thinking is used to not even try though. For example, there really should be a gluten-free dessert available.
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Messages
1,345
But that’s you’re opinion. A salad is a normal part of a meal most places. To me, it’s a big deal.
I always thought the salad was a nice addition to the meal (I never had a brown one) where there was not much in the way of fresh produce available. I agree that it was nothing to write home about but of course compared to the Flex Dining salad, it was gigantic.
 

joelkfla

Engineer
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
2,211
Location
12 miles from Walt Disney World
What trains do I need to ride to experience this?
Any train that serves CA, OR, or WA from the middle of the country, or the Coast Starlight along the West Coast. Sleeping car passengers only.

On the website booking page, click on Trip Details under the arrival time, then click on Services, and scroll down to look for Flex Dining or Traditional Dining. You want Traditional Dining.
 

crescent-zephyr

Engineer
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
4,186
What trains do I need to ride to experience this?
Empire Builder
Coast Starlight
California Zephyr
Southwest Chief
Sunset Limited

You have to ride in a sleeping car to eat in the dining car on these trains.

Empire builder offers box meals on the Portland - Spokane section.

Coast Starlight offers dining car meals for purchase to Business Class on a space available basis.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2017
Messages
1,748
What trains do I need to ride to experience this?
Complete List:
Coast Starlight (Seattle - Los Angeles)
California Zephyr (Chicago - Emeryville)
Southwest Chief (Chicago - Los Angeles)
Empire Builder (Chicago - Seattle/Chicago - Portland)
Sunset Limited (New Orleans - Los Angeles)
Texas Eagle 421/422 sleeper (San Antonio - Los Angeles only)
 

jis

Chief Dispatcher
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
AU Supporting Member
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
33,179
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
What trains do I need to ride to experience this?
Easy way to remember is - all the low numbered trains: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,11,14, and things that merge into them - 421,422,27,28, only as long as they are attached to the main train.
 

Devil's Advocate

🚂〰️〰️〰️〰️
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
13,424
Location
🇺🇸
Veggie burger
vegan chili
gluten-free dessert
Sounds delicious!

59cd52d8351ccf1f008b5af5
 

toddinde

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
492
Location
Sierra Vista, AZ
It seems to me that for years, salads were on the traditional dining menu, sometimes for both lunch and dinner, so their absence is quite a change.
Right before the end of traditional dining, I noticed Amtrak began pulling the salads. They came back, and now they’re gone again. I’m going to see if RPA can nudge them back. The lack of vegan entrees really highlights the need for a salad. I’m not a big appetizer guy. I think a salad before dinner has more universal appeal.
 

Karl1459

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Feb 15, 2010
Messages
466
Location
Oregon
Isn't the "field greens and goat cheese..." a salad? You might be able to get them to "dumb it down" for an appetizer salad.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2017
Messages
1,748
I don’t think there’s any nefarious cost cutting reason behind switching the appetizers around. They probably just want to try different things. Give a salad is available for lunch they may be able to do a side salad as an alternative to an appetizer for dinner. I am perfectly fine with the appetizer options. So I wouldn’t really describe this as pulling or cutting salads - rather simply trying out different options.
 

jis

Chief Dispatcher
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
AU Supporting Member
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
33,179
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
It has always seemed to me that it may also be kind of hard to do a real fresh salad when the ingredients have to be loaded three days back from inventory probably received in the Commissary a day or two before that. Being able to load stuff enroute on three day runs would probably improve things, but also raise costs.
 

crescent-zephyr

Engineer
Joined
Oct 21, 2015
Messages
4,186
It has always seemed to me that it may also be kind of hard to do a real fresh salad when the ingredients have to be loaded three days back from inventory probably received in the Commissary a day or two before that. Being able to load stuff enroute on three day runs would probably improve things, but also raise costs.
That seems pretty normal, most restaurants get a delivery 1-2 times per week and that delivery comes from a central commissary / distributor.
 

joelkfla

Engineer
Joined
Oct 16, 2018
Messages
2,211
Location
12 miles from Walt Disney World
It has always seemed to me that it may also be kind of hard to do a real fresh salad when the ingredients have to be loaded three days back from inventory probably received in the Commissary a day or two before that. Being able to load stuff enroute on three day runs would probably improve things, but also raise costs.
Those precut bags of lettuce you get in the supermarket usually have a Use By Date 5 or 6 days out, so 3 days should be no problem if it's stored unopened at the proper temp & humidity.
 

Devil's Advocate

🚂〰️〰️〰️〰️
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
13,424
Location
🇺🇸
Those precut bags of lettuce you get in the supermarket usually have a Use By Date 5 or 6 days out, so 3 days should be no problem if it's stored unopened at the proper temp & humidity.
That's what I was thinking. Difficulty with stocking fresh produce might make salads unavailable now and then but removing them from the menu seems like an overreaction. Not to mention that Amtrak is charging more than ever now. If anything freshness and variety should be improving IMO.
 

jis

Chief Dispatcher
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
AU Supporting Member
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
33,179
Location
Space Coast, Florida, Area code 3-2-1
That's what I was thinking. Difficulty with stocking fresh produce might make salads unavailable now and then but removing them from the menu seems like an overreaction. Not to mention that Amtrak is charging more than ever now. If anything freshness and variety should be improving IMO.
With proper inventory management they should not have any difficulty serving reasonable salads. But as you say, with supply chain issues intervening, there may be periods when that becomes impossible intermittently.

The removal of side salad is a bit of a head scratcher. In my mind, both dinner roll and side salad should be available upon request. I do understand them not being served without request since I have seen phenomenal waste of them by so many people not partaking of them.
 
Last edited:

AmtrakBlue

Engineer
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
14,069
Location
Delaware
With proper inventory management they should not have any difficulty serving reasonable salads. But as you say, with supply chain issues intervening, there may be periods when that becomes impossible intermittently.

The removal of side salad is a bit of a head scratcher. In my mind, both dinner roll and side salad should be available upon request. I do understand them not being served without request since I have seen phenomenal waste of them by so many people not partaking of them.
I do not eat salads, so I will usually tell them not to bring me one because I don't want it to go to waste.
 

flitcraft

Conductor
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
1,230
I'm on the CS day after tomorrow, so I'll report back if the new menu is in place or not. I'm happy to see them switching things up, though, since any menu gets tedious even eating your favorite items after awhile.

I very much agree that Amtrak is missing a potential revenue source by not stocking a higher priced more premium wine offering or two. I would spring for a better wine if it were available, and I doubt I am alone. For comparison's sake, I just returned from a trip out to central Pennsylvania where we ended up eating in a casual-chain-restaurant one night. (No need to call them out by name, though if you're thinking it might be named after a Rolling Stones song, you win...) While they had several red wines on the menu at a selection of low to medium price points, the only one in stock was Yellow Tail. Our waitstaffer cheerfully admitted that this disappointed many of their customers, most of whom decided not to bother ordering wine at all.
 
Top