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Aug 31, 2009 06:27 AM

Dining on Amtrak's Empire Builder

Anyone have a recent experience with Amtrak's Empire Builder servece? It has been years since I have done any long distance travel on Amtrak and the food was not memorable. Thanks!

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  1. Used Amtrak years ago and it was wonderful. Used it again three years ago and what a disaster!..They had redesigned the rooms from comfort to torture chamber. Instead of a door to my roomette would you believe a curtain? And if your room is over the wheels you will be black and blue for a month. As to the food. All pre-prepared and microwaved. The menu never varied. You couldn't get a simple fried egg at breakfast. My trip was in the New York to Florida corridor, but Amtrak is Amtrak, so I imagine your area will be much the same. A far cry from that marvelous trip I took 30 years ago from San Francisco on the scenic route to Chicago.

    1. I've ridden the Empire Builder twice in the last year and a half and loved the trip each time. The food is by no means chowish but compared to airline food is way better.

      1. Well, can't say for the route that mytymyt is talking about, but we've ridden the Empire Builder and Coast Starlight several times in the few couple of years and always had a great time. Very friendly service, no problem with roomettes (which did have doors) and good food. Didn't taste or seem microwaved at all. If you are traveling in a roomette or bedroom, all your meals are included, otherwise it's ala carte. There's also a snack bar where you can buy snack bar stuff. I'd agree it's way better than airline food, plus the scenery and company are much better also (you'll be seated with other folks, you'll enjoy meeting them and learning about their travels and lives).

        Have a good trip! (And don't forget to tip the servers, they do a yeoman's job in a bouncy environment!)