Amtrak Cross Country Train, what's for lunch? Part 2

Day 2

Coach travel sucks. Be it on a plane, a boat or a train, coach only offers two benefits: (1) it's cheap; (2) it gets you where you are going at the same time as first class. We opted for coach class from Boston to Chicago because it’s only a 24 hour ride. We can tough it out and save the $350. We really wanted to enjoy the California Zephyr in first class for two nights beginning in Chicago; traveling through the mid-west, over the Rocky’s and Sierra’s in “style”.

Train travel requires “sea-legs” and being unafraid to meet people at a shared dining room table, or, after falling into their lap...”Howdy”!

Dylan and I settled into our itsy-bitsy private roomette with seats facing each other that fold down into a bed. Above us is a well-designed bunk that tips up at about 40%, giving us plenty of head room. The cabin has curtains for privacy, a slide-out table for dining, game play or just a place to spread out drinks and snacks. The control panel offers just one AC outlet, a place for shoe storage, a couple hangers for clothes and some well needed hooks. Simple, efficient and organized. This roomette is so small that you better know the person you are traveling with well. The cabin can’t be any larger than 4 ½ feet wide and 8 feet long with a 7 foot ceiling.  A door on one side and double-wide windows on the other. Pretty cozy. But I do have a few suggestions that include Bluetooth for wireless speakers, USB ports for power, bar-buoy’s (like on a boat so drinks don’t spill) and more shelves and a monitor.


We dropped by the dining car at around 9:30 PM Saturday and invited two others to join us who were waiting for a table. Tom and Dave had business in Cleveland and decided to take the train from Boston instead of a plane...first time for them too. All together, we ordered the Pork Chop, Steak, Vegetable Lasagna and Roasted Chicken. They all came with some choices of sides that included mashed potatoes/rice/baked potato and green beans, roll and butter. The inevitable rock and roll of a train ride spilled a little of both the red wine and water on the paper tablecloths, but no one seemed to mind. I looked around and saw red stains on most of the tables, so I felt like a veteran already.

Dinner was reasonably good, considering the environment. We all agreed that the Chicken was probably the winner of the four entrees, so Dylan won that bet. The conversation, environment and meeting new people was the big plus. I have always believed that environmentis the key to memorable meals. It’s whom you are with and the place and frame of mind that personifies the quality of the food experience. This tends to help set expectations and rewards the moment with the appropriate grade. Some of my favorite dining experiences and related stories begin with we were at... and with.... Dinner for two was $60 including a ½ bottle of wine and tip.

There is also a snack and sandwich car for those interested in small bites and snacks.

BTW, writing on train is a challenge with the roll and twist. There is no WiFi, at least on the California Zephyr, so I had to use my AT&T hotspot off my iPhone to access FohBoh. Where there is a will... stay tuned we are just leaving Denver.

Views: 149

Tags: Amtrak, California Zepher, train food


You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh




Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries


Chains make chicken the star of the menu

High beef and pork prices are making chicken the go-to meat more than ever, boosting wholesale prices for producers and spurr -More

Americans continue to eat less fish

The average American is consuming only 14.4 pounds of fish per year, down from the record high of 16.6 pounds in 2004, Ben Di -More


Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

McAlister's Deli Signs Franchise Agreement to Expand to Cleveland

McAlister's Deli announced it has signed a development agreement with an experienced multi-unit operator to develop three restaurants in the Cleveland, Ohio, area - the brand's first locations in the market.

Restaurant Trends - Growing And Emerging Concepts - Change and Activity April 16, 2014

Update from on growing and emerging restaurant concepts

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. Announces CFO Departure in May

The company has commenced a search for Mr. Hope’s successor, reviewing both internal and external candidates. Mr. Hope will assist in the transition of duties to an interim CFO and will remain a consultant to the company through the summer.

Fuddruckers Reenters New York State With Restaurant In Middletown

introduces its first company-operated New York State site today at 340 Route 211 East in Middletown, which is located in the Hudson Valley approximately 60 miles from Manhattan.

Giardino Gourmet Salads Announces Nine Consecutive Quarters Of Positive Comparable Sales

Giardino Gourmet Salads announced that it has experienced nine consecutive quarters of positive comparable sales after posting an eight percent increase throughout the first quarter of 2014.


If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.


TED: Norman Spack: How I help transgender teens become who they want to be - Norman Spack (2013)

Puberty is an awkward time for just about everybody, but for transgender teens it can be a nightmare, as they grow overnight into bodies they aren't comfortable with. In a heartfelt talk, endocrinologist Norman Spack tells a personal story of how he became one of the few doctors in the US to treat minors with hormone replacement therapy. By staving off the effects of puberty, Spack gives trans teens the time they need. (Filmed at TEDxBeaconStreet.)

TED: Jennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar - Jennifer Senior (2014)

The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming—it's "a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic," as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety? Because the goal of modern, middle-class parents—to raise happy children—is so elusive. In this honest talk, she offers some kinder and more achievable aims.

TED: David Brooks: Should you live for your résumé ... or your eulogy? - David Brooks (2014)

Within each of us are two selves, suggests David Brooks in this meditative short talk: the self who craves success, who builds a résumé, and the self who seeks connection, community, love -- the values that make for a great eulogy. (Joseph Soloveitchik has called these selves "Adam I" and "Adam II.") Brooks asks: Can we balance these two selves?

TED: David Sengeh: The sore problem of prosthetic limbs - David Sengeh (2014)

What drove David Sengeh to create a more comfortable prosthetic limb? He grew up in Sierra Leone, and too many of the people he loves are missing limbs after the brutal civil war there. When he noticed that people who had prosthetics weren’t actually wearing them, the TED Fellow set out to discover why — and to solve the problem with his team from the MIT Media Lab.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service