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THE NEW MENUS ARE HERE! THE NEW MENUS ARE HERE!

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A

ACS-64

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There are two menus.

Trains on Menu 'One(1)':

Sunset Limited 1/2

Southwest Chief 3/4

California Zephyr 5/6

Empire Builder 7/8

Coast Starlight 11/14

Texas Eagle 21/22

Trains on Menu 'Five(5)':

Crescent 19/20

Capitol Limited 29/30

Lakeshore Limited 49/48

City of New Orleans 59/58

Silver Star 91/92

Silver Meotor 97/98
 

neroden

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God I hope amtrakfoodfacts.com is out of date. You would think they would have kicked the Kung Pao chicken to the curb with this new menu.
If it's out of date... which it may well be... then Amtrak has a much larger problem. Without access to the information, it's impossible to eat anything.

It used to be *very* slow to make the dining car attendants go dig through the ingredients lists on every item to check for allergens. There's a reason the website was set up. If it's got the wrong meals, I'm just bullheaded enough that I'm likely to go to the dining car and make them actually check everything. Nice slow mealtimes.

It looks up to date though: the Entree Salad has suddenly disappeared from all the listings, except 448/449.

Trains on Menu 'One(1)':...

Trains on Menu 'Five(5)':...
OK, but what is on Menu 1 and what is on Menu 5? The published menus are unhelpful.
 
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Groundpounder

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If your dietary needs are so specific, why don't you fly, so you won't spend so much time in transit and can pick where and what you eat more easily?
 

rickycourtney

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Fresno, CA
The "new" menu has a Specialty Sandwich and a Chef’s Marketplace Special and amtrakfoodfacts lists those as:

  • Specialty Sandwich - Crab Cake with Tartar Sauce on Corn Dusted Kaiser Roll
  • Specialty Sandwich - Bratwurst on Pretzel Roll with Fresh Made Lettuce Slaw
  • Chef's Marketplace Special - Panko Crusted Chicken Breast, Sweet Onion Sauce
  • Chef's Marketplace Special - Kung Pao Chicken Stir-fry
Menu 1 used to have:

  • Specialty Sandwich (Griddled crab cake on a corn dusted kaiser roll with tartar sauce)
  • Chef’s Marketplace Special (Kung Pao chicken stir-fry)
Menu 5 used to have:

  • Specialty Sandwich (A grilled pork bratwurst, served on a pretzel roll with freshly made lettuce and tomato slaw)
  • Chef’s Marketplace Special (A panko crusted, oven baked natural chicken breast)

Gosh those seem awfully familiar... but just for fun let's look at the dinner menu. It has a Vegetarian Pasta, Healthy Option, Light Entrée and the Seafood Catch of the Day and amtrakfoodfacts lists those as:

  • Vegetarian Pasta - Gemelli Pasta with Spinach, Mushrooms & Feta
  • Vegetarian Pasta - Goat Cheese Bucatini Pasta
  • Healthy Option, Light Entree - Beef Round in Red Wine Sauce with Pearl Tomato Couscous & Baby Carrots
  • Healthy Option, Light Entree - Chicken Breast with Turkey Chorizo Barley Risotto and Collard Greens
  • Seafood - Wild Caught Mahi-Mahi Fillet
  • Seafood - Corn-dusted Catfish Fillet with Tartar Sauce
Menu 1 used to have:

  • Vegetarian Pasta (Bucatini pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, asparagus and edamame beans. Topped with a light tomato-herb sauce, garnished with fresh goat cheese and served with a vegetable medley.)
  • Healthy Option, Light Entrée (a breast of chicken with turkey chorizo, barley risotto and collard greens..)
  • Corn Dusted Catfish (A corn dusted catfish fillet cooked to order and served with tartar sauce.)
Menu 5 used to have:

  • Vegetarian Pasta (gemelli pasta with spinach and mushrooms in a light garlic cream sauce.)
  • Healthy Option, Light Entrée (a beef eye round topped with red wine sauce, served with pearl couscous and baby carrots.)
  • Wild Caught Mahi-Mahi Fillet
So.... if amtrakfoodfacts.com is correct... this is THE SAME D*MN MENU Amtrak has used for the LAST 6 MONTHS... basically they are putting the items on whatever train they want.

The other change (and this is HUGE) is that the Entree Salad, Soup & Salad Combo have been eliminated from the lunch menu and the Chef’s Evening Marketplace Special has been eliminated from the dinner menu. Personally that last change ticks me off... Chef’s Evening Marketplace Special was the "chef inspired" dishes that we almost universally agreed are some of the best food Amtrak served.
 

jebr

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This is one "revamp" that I really don't get. Eliminating options from the already sparse options seems boneheaded, as does having very vague menus. If they're only two options anyways, just print two copies of the menu...makes it a lot easier for people to decide without having the attendant tell about each menu option.

Amtrak really should implement a pre-order option for meals...give people the option to choose what they want when booking or before boarding and have that stock reserved for the passenger. It would help a lot for those with allergies, sensitivities, or those who choose to only eat certain foods/ingredients and also help out with managing stock levels on the train, I would imagine.
 

hessjm

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Well to add insult to injury, I have heard from a pretty reliable source that the sleeping car passengers may have to pay for their meals in the diner in the near future. It may be time to cut this idea off at the pass by contacting anyone who may be able to deter the plan while it's still young.
 

jebr

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Well to add insult to injury, I have heard from a pretty reliable source that the sleeping car passengers may have to pay for their meals in the diner in the near future. It may be time to cut this idea off at the pass by contacting anyone who may be able to deter the plan while it's still young.
Is Amtrak trying to get rid of the dining cars?

Seriously, there's no way they're going to lose less money if people have to pay for them with actual cash (instead of it being part of the sleeper fare.) Didn't Amtrak try this a few years ago and it failed miserably?
 
A

ACS-64

Guest
The "new" menu has a Specialty Sandwich and a Chefs Marketplace Special and amtrakfoodfacts lists those as:

  • Specialty Sandwich - Crab Cake with Tartar Sauce on Corn Dusted Kaiser Roll
  • Specialty Sandwich - Bratwurst on Pretzel Roll with Fresh Made Lettuce Slaw
  • Chef's Marketplace Special - Panko Crusted Chicken Breast, Sweet Onion Sauce
  • Chef's Marketplace Special - Kung Pao Chicken Stir-fry
Menu 1 used to have:
  • Specialty Sandwich (Griddled crab cake on a corn dusted kaiser roll with tartar sauce)
  • Chefs Marketplace Special (Kung Pao chicken stir-fry)
Menu 5 used to have:
  • Specialty Sandwich (A grilled pork bratwurst, served on a pretzel roll with freshly made lettuce and tomato slaw)
  • Chefs Marketplace Special (A panko crusted, oven baked natural chicken breast)
Gosh those seem awfully familiar... but just for fun let's look at the dinner menu. It has a Vegetarian Pasta, Healthy Option, Light Entrée and the Seafood Catch of the Day and amtrakfoodfacts lists those as:

  • Vegetarian Pasta - Gemelli Pasta with Spinach, Mushrooms & Feta
  • Vegetarian Pasta - Goat Cheese Bucatini Pasta
  • Healthy Option, Light Entree - Beef Round in Red Wine Sauce with Pearl Tomato Couscous & Baby Carrots
  • Healthy Option, Light Entree - Chicken Breast with Turkey Chorizo Barley Risotto and Collard Greens
  • Seafood - Wild Caught Mahi-Mahi Fillet
  • Seafood - Corn-dusted Catfish Fillet with Tartar Sauce
Menu 1 used to have:
  • Vegetarian Pasta (Bucatini pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, asparagus and edamame beans. Topped with a light tomato-herb sauce, garnished with fresh goat cheese and served with a vegetable medley.)
  • Healthy Option, Light Entrée (a breast of chicken with turkey chorizo, barley risotto and collard greens..)
  • Corn Dusted Catfish (A corn dusted catfish fillet cooked to order and served with tartar sauce.)
Menu 5 used to have:
  • Vegetarian Pasta (gemelli pasta with spinach and mushrooms in a light garlic cream sauce.)
  • Healthy Option, Light Entrée (a beef eye round topped with red wine sauce, served with pearl couscous and baby carrots.)

  • Wild Caught Mahi-Mahi Fillet
So.... if amtrakfoodfacts.com is correct... this is THE SAME D*MN MENU Amtrak has used for the LAST 6 MONTHS... basically they are putting the items on whatever train they want.
The other change (and this is HUGE) is that the Entree Salad, Soup & Salad Combo have been eliminated from the lunch menu and the Chefs Evening Marketplace Special has been eliminated from the dinner menu. Personally that last change ticks me off... Chefs Evening Marketplace Special was the "chef inspired" dishes that we almost universally agreed are some of the best food Amtrak served.
amtrakfoodfacts is NOT up to date at the moment.
 

MikefromCrete

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Crete, IL
Well to add insult to injury, I have heard from a pretty reliable source that the sleeping car passengers may have to pay for their meals in the diner in the near future. It may be time to cut this idea off at the pass by contacting anyone who may be able to deter the plan while it's still young.
Is Amtrak trying to get rid of the dining cars?

Seriously, there's no way they're going to lose less money if people have to pay for them with actual cash (instead of it being part of the sleeper fare.) Didn't Amtrak try this a few years ago and it failed miserably?
Including meals with sleeper fares is a relatively new concept in train travel. Pre-Amtrak passenger trains and early Amtrak trains required payment for food separately from fares. As I said, this all goes back to Mica and his "$50 hamburgers" (or whatever) and comments that Amtrak passengers were living high on the hog at taxpayers expense. Boardman said he planned to elminate the food service deficit and this is a first step. Mica needs to be removed from Congress (or at least from his committee chairmanship). This is all his doing.
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
21,251
Location
Austin Texas
If the included meals for Sleeping Car passengers are done away with and everyone has to pay the High Prices plus the Not worth the Price Meal charges, I'm sure Amtrak will cut the room Prices NOT!

Joe is right. This idiotic idea needs to be killed in its infancy before the Financial Excellence Bean Counters get together and tell Boardman: "Boss, here's a great idea that will be a hit with Mica and the other Amtrak haters in Congress! It'll make you look good @ the next Dog and Pony show hearing with those clowns, er statesmen!

Can't happen? Do nothing and soon you'll be spending an extra $45-$100 a day to eat in the Diner on your LD Trips!!!
 
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neroden

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Location
Ithaca, NY
Well to add insult to injury, I have heard from a pretty reliable source that the sleeping car passengers may have to pay for their meals in the diner in the near future.
I think I won't complain about this. It'll reduce the profitability of the dining cars a hell of a lot, though, as more people "pack in". You can charge for a good selection of good meals but not for this cut-back mess... And it'll damage ridership and revenue a lot too (more in sleeper, but also in coach).

Maybe this is part of a clever plan to demonstrate to Mica that cutting dining car service will make it lose more money. If so, I think we should assist Amtrak by making sure that it loses more money.
 

neroden

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Ithaca, NY
Boardman said he planned to elminate the food service deficit and this is a first step.
The menu cuts are going to increase the food service deficit. Period.

Mica needs to be removed from Congress (or at least from his committee chairmanship). This is all his doing.
He HAS been removed from his committee chairmanship. Already.
 

neroden

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Location
Ithaca, NY
Can't happen? Do nothing and soon you'll be spending an extra $45-$100 a day to eat in the Diner on your LD Trips!!!
Except, with the severe cuts to the menu, and without any advance information about what's on the menu, we won't be eating in the diner. We'll be complaining about lack of storage space for our coolers. :unsure:
 
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pianocat

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Newburgh, IN
HOW NEAR FUTURE, JoeH? That would be a very, very bad move in my opinion. If i called in and asked for vegan meals for my summer trip, I'm really curious what they would offer at this stage. Actually, I'm pescatarian...will eat seafood. But if this is something they'll be implementing in next couple of months, I might re-think my western loop trip - not because I think I'm going to starve, but because the points I used for these legs took a lot of $$ to accumulate and am not willing to give up the free meals. I'll fly, no question and hoard the points. This is NOT good news....
 

tonys96

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HOW NEAR FUTURE, JoeH? That would be a very, very bad move in my opinion. If i called in and asked for vegan meals for my summer trip, I'm really curious what they would offer at this stage. Actually, I'm pescatarian...will eat seafood. But if this is something they'll be implementing in next couple of months, I might re-think my western loop trip - not because I think I'm going to starve, but because the points I used for these legs took a lot of $$ to accumulate and am not willing to give up the free meals. I'll fly, no question and hoard the points. This is NOT good news....
I wonder about the points deal.........I have many points, enough for a round trip 3 zone in a bedroom..........but have no time at the moment. We were considering a trip DAL to NYC next year, but if meals are not included, we could not afford that trip! So we would be stuck with a bucket load of points. I am glad that I was not offered the 50% point bonus for purchasing points lately, as I would have bought them and been left holding more points........

This would make me switch from using the AGR Master Card, too.......why get more points for a trip I cannot afford to eat meals on?
 

jebr

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HOW NEAR FUTURE, JoeH? That would be a very, very bad move in my opinion. If i called in and asked for vegan meals for my summer trip, I'm really curious what they would offer at this stage. Actually, I'm pescatarian...will eat seafood. But if this is something they'll be implementing in next couple of months, I might re-think my western loop trip - not because I think I'm going to starve, but because the points I used for these legs took a lot of $$ to accumulate and am not willing to give up the free meals. I'll fly, no question and hoard the points. This is NOT good news....
I would wait. I am worried about it myself, but I wouldn't cancel unless they make an official announcement. To be honest, I would be very surprised if they did something like that, as even the menus infer that there is some sort of "first class meal package" (look under the alcoholic beverages where they state those are not included in "first class meal packages"...same verbiage as was on the old menus.)
 

OlympianHiawatha

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I'm not panicking about this yet as there is still a decent variety on the Menus and I'll eat about anything that is put down in front of me. But if they start limiting the selections, trimming back portions or eliminating Sleeper Meals without a proportionate cut in fare, then I will get upset.
 

The Davy Crockett

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New menu items?

The Beancounter Burger (The name says it all)

Fresh Roast Meat of the Day - (whatever we've hit and been able to salvage)

Locally Foraged Stew (A stew made from whatever station employees have been able to find while dumpster diving behind local restaurants along LD routes)

LocoMotion Dessert Cup (a slice of freestanding jello with no taste, but is fun to watch jiggling with the movement of the train)

:D
 

neroden

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Again, I believe the only way to get this reversed is to have sufficiently many customer complaints. Call in, write in, get a case number.
 

chakk

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Perhaps the famous Automat cars from pre-Amtrak days will return?
 

chakk

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Hopefully, they will also add Tab to the list of sodas available.
 

OlympianHiawatha

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Hopefully, they will also add Tab to the list of sodas available.
I didn't know that stuff was still available. It was a staple in the house back in the 60s and 70s when my older sisters were constantly bouncing between one kind of fad diet or another. It was pretty nasty if I remember right-as was Diet Rite Cola.

I'll stick with the Pepsi products.
 

Paulus

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I think I won't complain about this. It'll reduce the profitability of the dining cars a hell of a lot, though, as more people "pack in". You can charge for a good selection of good meals but not for this cut-back mess... And it'll damage ridership and revenue a lot too (more in sleeper, but also in coach).

Maybe this is part of a clever plan to demonstrate to Mica that cutting dining car service will make it lose more money. If so, I think we should assist Amtrak by making sure that it loses more money.
That would require dining cars to make money in the first place, which they don't. And before people try to bring up loss leaders: The best performing dining car service, in terms of food and beverage cost as a percentage of sleeper revenue, is the Silver Meteor at 48.41%. The Cardinal, Sunset Limited, and Crescent all have F&B costs exceeding total sleeper revenue (and even with revenue attribution, the loss on the Sunset Limited exceeds 100%). Even with revenue attribution, the F&B loss on the Meteor amounts to 16.95% of total sleeper revenue and I am very doubtful of there being a ≥17% profit margin for the sleepers. That's not including the costs of maintenance, fuel, and motive power for the dining car.
 

hessjm

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Messages
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Downtown Grand Rapids
HOW NEAR FUTURE, JoeH? That would be a very, very bad move in my opinion. If i called in and asked for vegan meals for my summer trip, I'm really curious what they would offer at this stage. Actually, I'm pescatarian...will eat seafood. But if this is something they'll be implementing in next couple of months, I might re-think my western loop trip - not because I think I'm going to starve, but because the points I used for these legs took a lot of $$ to accumulate and am not willing to give up the free meals. I'll fly, no question and hoard the points. This is NOT good news....
I would not make any decisions based on this. As I understand it, it's just talk at this point, at what level - I don't know. I just thought everyone might like to know that at someone at some level has broached the subject.
 

Paulus

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HOW NEAR FUTURE, JoeH? That would be a very, very bad move in my opinion. If i called in and asked for vegan meals for my summer trip, I'm really curious what they would offer at this stage. Actually, I'm pescatarian...will eat seafood. But if this is something they'll be implementing in next couple of months, I might re-think my western loop trip - not because I think I'm going to starve, but because the points I used for these legs took a lot of $$ to accumulate and am not willing to give up the free meals. I'll fly, no question and hoard the points. This is NOT good news....
I would not make any decisions based on this. As I understand it, it's just talk at this point, at what level - I don't know. I just thought everyone might like to know that at someone at some level has broached the subject.
It's discussed in their five year plan.
 
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