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: 155

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


Read the latest

Read the latest food and beverage coverage by SmartBrief in SmartBrief Originals: -More

Don't let bad disability etiquette turn guests off

Many restaurants are unaware of how to make guests with vision, mobility or hearing impairments feel welcome much less make t -More

Juan Valdez aims to perk up U.S. sales with first franchises

Colombian coffee brand Juan Valdez will open its first franchise cafe in Miami, with plans to open four more this year in a p -More


Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $50 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Domino's Pizza Announces Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results

Domino's Pizza, Inc. (NYSE: DPZ) announced results for the second quarter of 2014, comprised of strong growth in both same store sales and global store counts, which resulted in 17.5% EPS growth, or 67 cents per share.

McDonald's Reports Second Quarter 2014 Global Comparable Sales Flat

Global comparable sales were relatively flat, reflecting higher average check and negative guest traffic in all major segments - Consolidated revenues increase of 1% (1% in constant currencies), benefiting from expansion

Huddle House Diner Franchise Expands Into New Jersey

Huddle House recently announced its 10-unit deal in Long Island and has now signed an agreement with an experienced multi-unit investor to build six restaurants across the bridge in Northern New Jersey. Huddle House previously extended only as far as West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. Second Quarter 2014 Revenues Up 28.6%

Comparable restaurant sales increased 17.3% - Restaurant level operating margin was 27.3%, a decrease of 30 basis points

Tava Indian Kitchen Appoints Jeremy Morgan As New Chief Executive Officer, Announces Expansion Plans

Tava Indian Kitchen, the Bay Area's rapidly expanding fast casual Indian restaurant concept, announced that Jeremy Morgan, formerly SVP of Marketing and Consumer Insights for Smashburger, has been appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer.


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: Ze Frank: Are you human? - Ze Frank (2014)

Have you ever wondered: Am I a human being? Ze Frank suggests a series of simple questions that will determine this. Please relax and follow the prompts. Let's begin …

TED: Heather Barnett: What humans can learn from semi-intelligent slime - Heather Barnett (2014)

Inspired by biological design and self-organizing systems, artist Heather Barnett co-creates with physarum polycephalum, a eukaryotic microorganism that lives in cool, moist areas. What can people learn from the semi-intelligent slime mold? Watch this talk to find out.

TED: Shih Chieh Huang: Sculptures that’d be at home in the deep sea - Shih Chieh Huang (2014)

When he was young, artist Shih Chieh Huang loved taking toys apart and perusing the aisles of night markets in Taiwan for unexpected objects. Today, this TED Fellow creates madcap sculptures that seem to have a life of their own—with eyes that blink, tentacles that unfurl and parts that light up like bioluminescent sea creatures.

TED: Nikolai Begg: A tool to fix one of the most dangerous moments in surgery - Nikolai Begg (2013)

Surgeons are required every day to puncture human skin before procedures — with the risk of damaging what's on the other side. In a fascinating talk, find out how mechanical engineer Nikolai Begg is using physics to update an important medical device, called the trocar, and improve one of the most dangerous moments in many common surgeries.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service