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Spirit of Washington Dinner Train?

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I've heard that they are shutting it down later this year. We are considering an anniversary dinner on the train (I'd assume our first and last), however, I have no idea what the food is like.

Anyone been? Opinions?

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  1. Ethereal, The dinner train is a nostalgic experience but not a Chowhound destination. In fact, it would rate below an Applebee's on the Rechtor scale of food. Grab a downtown hotel room and hit The Dahlia or the wine cellar at Harvest Vine.

    2 Replies
      1. re: Glassman

        And if you're not convinced, I will third it.

      2. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's terrible. It is what it is. Most of it is prepared in advance and re-heated. It's as good or better than Hotel food. The point of it is not a fine-dining experience, at least for most of us. It's okay for those who have never gone wine-tasting on their own (but please, don't let me be there when they ask for White Zinfandel). It's one of those "destination" things that we do when we win a gift certificate and try to make the best of the experience. If the couple we shared a table with (celebrating HER birthday) didn't spend the bulk of the time opening B-Day gifts from the clueless-boyfriend, it would've been much better. As Forrest said, you never know what you're gonna get!

        1. The food is okay. I would not say it's worse than Applebee's. I would give the dinner train a 7/10 and Applebee's 4/10. Of course, the food is not as good as Dahlia or the other primo spots around town.

          However, going on the dinner train is more than just dining. For me it was the novelty of riding on the train, seeing the "backroads", going to the winery and spending time with my wife. Also, the weather was great the night we went out.

          Depending on the crowd, if you're at a table for 4 you may end up with another couple. The time I went, we sat at a table for 2. You may be able to request a table for 2, but it may just depend on which cars they hook-up for the night.

          Overall, we enjoyed our experience.