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Oct 24, 2008 11:22 AM

Food for the train - Union Station

I'm taking Amtrak to NYC on Wednesday around dinner time. Any recs for something to bring on the train, rather than eating from the dining car?



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  1. You can get decent sandwiches at Au Bon Pain.

    3 Replies
    1. re: 4X4

      I second Au Bon Pain. Don't go to the food court, the food there is disgusting.

      1. re: nyawira

        You're all wet. Sakura just opened in the eatery and, if its the same as at other malls, its quite acceptable. Also, the Chinese bowl stand is very credible. Also, I've never tried it, but a lot of people seem to like the sushi stand.

      2. re: 4X4

        I 3rd Au Bon Pain.

        The deli place in the Union Station Food Court isn't that bad if you stick to turkey or tuna fish. The sandwiches are HUGE so they are certain to fill you up.

      3. Tacqueria national is close by.... it's better than anything you'd get in the food court.

        2 Replies
        1. re: scotcheroo

          I've heard positive things about the Indian place in the court - but haven't been myself.

          across the street Capitol City has a really good corn and crab chowder.

          Doesn't Taqueria Nationale close shortly after lunch, kind of mid-afternoon? keep meaning to try it, have heard great things about it.

          1. re: hill food

            oh yeah you're right.. i think they close at 3.

        2. You don't want to get anything messy. For a trip to NY, regardless of the time I usually just get a big pretzel or a bagel and cream cheese to stave away the boredom, and either eat before I go or when I get there. Same thing for the trip back home except that pretzels on the street in New York are better than Annie's at Union Station.

          Short answer - no great food at Union Station worth taking on the train. Eat before you go or make do until you get there. But DO take something. Don't rely on the dining car.

          4 Replies
          1. re: MikeR

            I LOVE Annie's pretzels-esp the cinn & sugar!!! Sparos (sp?) - The Italian place is right there, too- across from Annie's (level w/ train gates) and that is another good option.

            1. re: chicken kabob

              The problem with Sbarro is that the food won't stay hot very long. By the time you get on the train and get settled, your pizza or calzone will be cold. It's a decent place to eat if you have time to finish before getting on the train. And if you hold out until you get to New York, there's a Sbarro right across from Penn Station on the 7th Avenue side.

              I prefer the traditional pretzels with the big salt crystals. A cinnamon and sugar pretzel sounds too much like dessert, and for that I'd rather have a chocolate chip cookie. ;)

              1. re: MikeR

                Oh, I agree NYC pretzels and the ones I get home in Pittsburgh blow away Annie's,

                1. re: MikeR

                  That is true about Sbarros not staying warm (thanks for the correct spelling) ...
                  BUT I still stand by Annie's pretzels OVER NYC ones- it is really personal preference, in my opinion- to each their own, right?

            2. Au Bon Pain or Corner Bakery

              4 Replies
              1. re: Doh

                sorry, but I gotta say: bagels, pizza or pretzels on the way to NYC? seems backwards.

                maybe as a point of reference for when you get there.

                but I do think the consensus here is anything beats the deli car (not the cross-country dining car in the old days - North by Northwest anyone? it was still like that in the 80's) and they've started selling hard liquor cocktails in the last few years but I still BYOB for a nice read and snooze.

                there is a liquor store in the station. there's a stellar one 3 blocks up Mass (Schneider's) but a pint is so much more discrete.

                1. re: Doh

                  ditto on au bon pain and corner bakery. plus their food is not smelly (like some food court stuff), so your seatmates won't be assaulted by strong or greasy odors. i love my tuna salad from au bon pain: SPICY TUNA SANDWICH
                  Tuna Salad with Jalapeno Mayonnaise, Tomato and Snow Peas on Multigrain Bread

                    1. re: link_930

                      not that tuna. it is mild. maybe a little smell, but it doesn't waft all over the place. (maybe i'm justifying my recent sandwich choice when i went amtrak to nyc in july.)

                      granted, their tuna is not bland in odor like a cold roast beef sandwich, but it ain't burritos or fried food court stuff, either.

                      <tuna defense, toggle off>

                2. The best place in Union Station food court was Burrito Brothers, but sadly it closed several months ago. I second the comments on Tacqueria National, which is not too far away from the station.