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Silver Star: What to do for meals without Diner?

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Texan Eagle

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Since the Silver Star runs without a Diner, what do sleeper passengers usually do for meals if traveling end-to-end from Miami to NYP?

Looking at the schedule, it looks like the major stations around meal times are-

Orlando 7.30pm - dinner

Raleigh 8.45am - breakfast

Richmond 12.00pm - lunch

I know Silver Star still has the Cafe car but I am here for more interesting ideas- has anyone successfully (or otherwise) managed to order food at any of these stations and gotten it delivered to the train? Are there any restaurants/cafes/food place at the stations itself to get off and pick up food?
 

the_traveler

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I have not taken the Star (due to connection timing). In years, but I understand thr cafe menu is not just burgers & chips. I think there are some tray meal offerings also - of course they are not included meals in your sleeper fare.
 

pennyk

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The hot dog stand at the Orlando station is not open when 92 comes through. There used to be a cafe across the street, but it was closed when I was last there. I bring food with me and/or eat snacks in the cafe car when traveling on the Silver Star. Since I board in Orlando when traveling north, I eat dinner before boarding.

The menu was different on the Star cafe in January than it was previously. There was a salad on the menu.

There is a snack bar in the Richmond station (at least there was the last time I was there).
 

crescent-zephyr

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When I rode the Star this past February from West Palm to Kissimmee ( I got off a cruise in Ft. Lauderdale and caught Brightline up to West Palm and then walked over) the Cafe choices were pretty sad. The Cafe Menu on the Empire Service has better options. I got a Grilled Chicken Salad and it was gas station quality. By comparison the salad I had on the Empire Service last year (some type of Quinioua salad) was really good and was on par with the pre-prepared salads available at Starbucks...which are pretty good for what they are.
 

Thirdrail7

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A lot of passengers actually bring their own, Yogi Bear style pic-a-nic baskets and/or coolers, filled with foods that don't need heating. Examples include subs/hoagies/grinders, salads, sandwiches, beverages, etc.
 

Anderson

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The tray meals went away a while back, as far as I can tell. It's possible that there's been something put back on, but after I could no longer get a passable lunch out of RVR north I mostly abandoned using this train.
 

cpotisch

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Going to/from Orlando, I only take the SM so I know I can get a decent meal.
Same here. Ever since they ditched the diner, I have refused to take the Star. I prefer it to the Meteor, but I just can't go 30 hours eating out of an AmCafe.
 
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JRR

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I only use the Silver Star if I am going to Tampa.

Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum
 

GBNorman

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I could "survive" Tampa to Raleigh on 92 or Richmond to Orlando on 91, but that's all.

I'd first go by Subway for a "foot long", then to Dunkin for some morning fare.

I presume coffee and ice are still offered in the Sleeper - after all, gotta get my Grape Juice chilled down.

20180221_143829-1.jpg
 

stappend

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We are trying it this year to/from Orlando because the schedule worked better. Planning on bringing a picnic and grape juice.
 

Rail Freak

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I could "survive" Tampa to Raleigh on 92 or Richmond to Orlando on 91, but that's all.

I'd first go by Subway for a "foot long", then to Dunkin for some morning fare.

I presume coffee and ice are still offered in the Sleeper - after all, gotta get my Grape Juice chilled down.
LOL, I see we prefer the same Brand of grape juice!
 
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I did it once from Philly to central Florida (Winter Park) and thought it would be awful. However, I started in Philly knowing that there would be plenty of food choices at 30th Street Station. I got a chef salad from Salad Works for my main meal, plus I had an orange and some snacks they gave me in my hotel when I told them I would be on a train without a dining car overnight and they looked at me in horror and starting filling a bag with food for me for my dinner.


Plus a free muffin in the lounge for the morning. (The lounge attendant was very nice about looking the other way when all the Silver Star passengers were sitting there stuffing their faces before the train came, in spite of the "no food in the lounge" policy.)

I thought I could hold out for breakfast til the train got to WPK mid-morning the next day, but a nice older couple I started talking with asked me to join them in the cafe car for breakfast the next day, so I did to be polite. I had the breakfast sandwich, and it was surprisingly good--much better than the same thing on the NEC--go figure.

After swearing I would never take the Star without the dining car, I have decided it's not bad if you start and end at places with good food and are not on the train for several meal times.

My early morning coffee is important, so I'm glad that is still available in the sleeper. I did not bring any grape juice, but others here are obviously the experts where that is concerned!
 

cpotisch

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Is there something with Amtrak passengers and grape juice? There seem to be a shocking number of members here who swear by it.
 

Chey

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Mystic River Dragon - you didn't tell us which hotel this was! I assure you, we want to know!
 

neroden

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Bring an enormous cooler. If you have dietary restrictions, it doesn't count against your carryon allowance, because it's a necessary disability accomodation.

One thing which the mindless cutters of dining car service seem to have forgotten is that one of the purposes of on-board food service is to prevent all the passengers from bringing coolers. Picnic materials can start filling up the coaches pretty darn quick.

If you think of it this way, you come up with a logical conclusion as to what should be provided for food service onboard: a selection of meals sufficient to *deter* most people from hauling the coolers, and convince them to pay "stadium prices" on board rather than hauling the coolers around with them.
 

RPC

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Okay, I'll admit I haven't done this (yet), but it intrigues me: if riding through Tampa, get off in Lakeland, walk three blocks to any of a plethora of restaurants, walk back, and reboard the train going the other way. It looks like you'd have just over an hour and a half if the Star is holding to schedule. It's perfectly timed for lunch southbound and just a tad early for supper northbound. You could even save some $ if you switch between coach and sleeper...
 

cpotisch

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Okay, I'll admit I haven't done this (yet), but it intrigues me: if riding through Tampa, get off in Lakeland, walk three blocks to any of a plethora of restaurants, walk back, and reboard the train going the other way. It looks like you'd have just over an hour and a half if the Star is holding to schedule. It's perfectly timed for lunch southbound and just a tad early for supper northbound. You could even save some $ if you switch between coach and sleeper...
There is the risk that no one has a ticket from Lakeland South and the train doesn't stop. Otherwise, it's a genuinely good idea.
 
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I did it once from Philly to central Florida (Winter Park) and thought it would be awful. However, I started in Philly knowing that there would be plenty of food choices at 30th Street Station. I got a chef salad from Salad Works for my main meal, plus I had an orange and some snacks they gave me in my hotel when I told them I would be on a train without a dining car overnight and they looked at me in horror and starting filling a bag with food for me for my dinner.
Mystic River Dragon - you didn't tell us which hotel this was! I assure you, we want to know!
Hilton Garden Inn in Center City Philly. I remember having the breakfast buffet, and then asking the waiter if he minded if I took an orange with me because of being on a train overnight with no dining car, at which point he got a bag and put a yogurt and some other snacks in it. So it wasn't completely free (unless I had a breakfast coupon, and I can't remember), but it makes a good story! And I've known the waiter for years--that is my local getaway hotel when I need a break, and he is one of their veterans, and wonderful (very much like our favorite SCAs!
)
 

Chey

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Hilton Garden Inn in Center City Philly. I remember having the breakfast buffet, and then asking the waiter if he minded if I took an orange with me because of being on a train overnight with no dining car, at which point he got a bag and put a yogurt and some other snacks in it. So it wasn't completely free (unless I had a breakfast coupon, and I can't remember), but it makes a good story! And I've known the waiter for years--that is my local getaway hotel when I need a break, and he is one of their veterans, and wonderful (very much like our favorite SCAs!
)
Thank you! I know I'm not the only one who has noted it now...

Hilton Garden Inns are one of my favorites anyway - what an awesome way to treat customers!
 
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dlagrua

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Going to/from Orlando, I only take the SM so I know I can get a decent meal.
Same here. Ever since they ditched the diner, I have refused to take the Star. I prefer it to the Meteor, but I just can't go 30 hours eating out of an AmCafe.
I share the sentiment but if I had to take the star, I would grab a meal before boarding, pack a cooler with some packets of Half and half/ instant Starbucks espresso, qt of milk, a few slices of bread, some Hummus and maybe some cereal. If it were lunch or dinner then its some rich hot chowders that can be heated with a lower wattage immersion heater or and/or some Subway sandwiches. All this assumes that you are traveling in a sleeper but much of this can be done in coach.
 
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