Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, mtuandrew, Tadman
ABOARD THE SOUTHWEST CHIEF — A month after Amtrak revamped dining-car menus on the five long-distance trains that serve the West Coast — replacing pre-packaged meals in a bowl with freshly-prepared breakfasts, lunches, and dinners — it’s clear the company is aiming for a higher standard than what it previously offered.
“I was really surprised,” observes Chef Frank Villasenor, who, with Food Specialist Brian Garrigues, is manning the Southwest Chief’s kitchen, on the lower level of the Superliner dining car, out of Chicago on July 22. “This is a step above where I thought we would go, especially with the direction we were going.”
...But he did see how airline-accustomed management’s cost cutting took its toll on the Coast Starlight when the train lost its “Pacific Parlour Car” for sleeping-car passengers. Several years ago, there was also a directive removing all but the most basic spices from dining car kitchens, further tamping down chef creativity in favor of standardization.
Now he leads one of dozens of crews working the Chief, Starlight, Empire Builder, California Zephyr, and Sunset Limited, implementing a menu that brings back restaurant-style meals and service after a year’s absence resulting from COVID-19 health concerns.
lordsigma12345 wrote: ↑Wed Sep 22, 2021 1:21 pm Word on the street is that Amtrak will be trialing additional passenger access to the diner on the western trains in October. The trial will be with business class passengers on the Coast Starlight.They should never have removed dining from any of the routes. Overnight trains = hotel room + dinner + breakfast + transportation. Of course this comes from someone who doesn't fly. (Had too many negative experiences on aerial things, fixed and rotary wing.)
lordsigma12345 wrote: ↑Thu Sep 23, 2021 9:00 am 448/449 has a split cafe/business car. On 449 sleeping car passengers boarding from Boston to Springfield are offered a complementary lunch from the cafe car. On 48/49 south of Albany there is no food for coach passengers - the new york section has a viewliner 2 dining car which only serves flexible dining to sleeper passengers. West of Albany the viewliner diner serves flex dining to all sleeper passengers and the spit cafe/business serves all coach passengers.Before New Englander’s cry out why just us, a very similar things occurs with Superliners on the Empire Builder west of Spokane, with the dining car and sightseer lounge-cafe car splitting between the sections of the trains heading to or coming from the west.