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D.P. Roberts

Conductor
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Amtrak's dining car menus were updated today - the first time since October 2014. For reference, here's a pdf of the Coast Starlight's new menu:
http://www.amtrak.com/ccurl/814/559/Coast-Starlight-Dining-Car-Menu-0515.pdf

For lunch, the special has changed from turkey meatballs & mash to a fried chicken breast and mash.

For dinner, the vegetarian special has changed from lasagna to a trio of spinach & ricotta-stuffed pasta shells.

I never saved the old menu, so I'm not certain about other changes, but it appears that the dinner "Healthy Option" has changed from an eye of round beef to an Asian BBQ chicken and rice. I assume that the fish entree has changed as well - it's now a seared salmon filet with a chile-lime butter sauce.

There's also a listing for another "Special" that may or may not be available for all three meals. I don't remember that being there before.

And, my favorite part - they're bringing back the Haagen-Dazs ice cream for dessert!
 
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SarahZ

Quality Control
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KAL
The stuffed shells sound good.

I liked the turkey meatballs (they were insanely filling), but the tomato sauce was too acidic for my tastes. If the chicken is as good as the chicken they serve at dinner, I approve. :)

I was able to get vanilla Haagen-Dazs on all three trains (EB, CS, CZ) a couple months ago and the SWC last Thanksgiving. It's the sorbet I really miss.
 

SarahZ

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I just noticed the chicken is panko-crusted. I'm definitely ordering that next time.
 

keelhauled

OBS Chief
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The meatballs were probably the best value on the menu for the amount of food you got. And they were rather good to boot. Pity they're gone.
 

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
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Glad to see the Talapia has been replaced with Salmon, which is usually good! The Healthy Choice, which is a very small portion but just right for light eaters, sounds interesting!

I hope they still have the Chocolate Mousse, its excellent!

And hopefully the Breakfast Menu was left alone, it us the best meal for the money on Amtrak IMO!!
 
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Eris

Lead Service Attendant
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Mar 15, 2007
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Previous menu is accessible from archive.org

https://web.archive.org/web/20150124141732/http://www.amtrak.com/ccurl/71/811/Coast-Starlight-Dining-Car-Menu-1014.pdf

I notice the burger prices have gone up from $10 to $11.50, and beer & wine have both kicked up 50c ($1 for a bottle of wine), the calorie counts for some items have gone up quite a bit, and the omelet lists cheese in its description but then lists it again as an optional $1 item. Also, the Chase AGR card is no longer pictured among the credit card payment options.
 
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I just noticed the chicken is panko-crusted. I'm definitely ordering that next time.
I know I've seen it on the menu before - I could swear it was on last summer's menu, but it was never available while I was onboard. I hope I get to try it next month.
I could swear this was a special on the Starlight one time and was quite tasty.
 

CHamilton

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I just noticed the chicken is panko-crusted. I'm definitely ordering that next time.
I know I've seen it on the menu before - I could swear it was on last summer's menu, but it was never available while I was onboard. I hope I get to try it next month.
I could swear this was a special on the Starlight one time and was quite tasty.
It might have been. They seem to use the PPC as a testing ground for new menu items. I'm pretty sure that the meatballs were available in the PPC before they bounced their way to the national menu.
 

MyJourneys

Train Attendant
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Jan 23, 2015
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I guess there's no chocolate on the dessert menu anymore. I don't know how I'll survive it. Better pack some Snickers bars.
 
Joined
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Oops. Self deleted due to wrong info.

Mea culpa

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Anderson

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Nov 16, 2010
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Virginia
I'm glad to see Haagen Dazs back on the menu. Ditto the tiramisu (which my spell checker wants to pretend is not a word), though I've got a friend who is still mourning the loss of the blood orange sorbet. The change to salmon also means I may occasionally opt for that instead of steak (I'm not a tillapia fan).

Possibly the biggest plus is the addition of a specials line, implying that Amtrak might run some rotating items through the menus.

On the minus side, the omelet cheese pricing is probably going to cause some headaches since the initial item implies cheese is included only for a surcharge to be listed. I expect you're going to get a few shouting matches over that dollar somewhere.

As to pricing, aside from the alcohol side of things the price lifts seem to be a move to pull more revenue out of the sleepers and into the diners.
 
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saturn04

Train Attendant
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Feb 1, 2014
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Wisconsin
I wonder if you can still get the cheesecake without strawberries...if not, there are still some other tasting options.
 

Michael061282

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Jan 19, 2010
Messages
278
Location
Richmond, VA
You don't have to look very far to see why Amtrak is losing oodles of money on long distance food service. $7 for a hot dog & chips (on the childs menu), $12.50 for a cheeseburger. 3 strips of bacon or 2 pork sausage patties $3.75. Calling ahead and ordering a pizza at the next service stop is actually much more economical
 
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