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Amtrak meals: your experience + are there decent paleo options?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 08, 2012 at 7:26 AM

Hi,

I'm taking a 28 hr Amtrak trip this weekend and I'm curious if any of you have eaten the meals served aboard the train. I've purchased a 'roomette' which includes meals, however I have a sneaking suspicion (after trying to find detailed menus on the Amtrak website) that I should probably just bring my own supply of jerky/HB eggs/veggies/fruit/nuts.

Has anyone travelled on Amtrak and requested substitutions or found good paleo options in the dining car?

Thanks, Jen

Edit: I have seen the menus and when I say detailed information, I mean ingredients :)

I really appreciate the comments, but please don't suggest how I might go about making substitutions: I know what I can and can't eat and how to go about special requests. What I'm looking for here is personal experiences related to actually eating on the train.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on June 08, 2012
at 01:59 PM

You might try commenting on the thread linked above to get her attention.

65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on June 08, 2012
at 01:15 PM

:) exactly... Even if they agreed to try and accommodate me, I'm still taking a pretty silly risk. I've got to work while traveling and from the moment I arrive, so causing myself digestive issues would be the equivalent to a musician showing up for a symphony performance with his instrument out of tune! Thanks for trying to help, I do appreciate it!

65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on June 08, 2012
at 01:10 PM

Yes! I'm really hoping she comes along and comments! :)

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on June 08, 2012
at 12:50 PM

Ah yeah, I hate those PUFAs too, make me feel pretty ill. And even if you could have butter I wonder if they would use margarine instead. Ick! Though I wonder if they could use bacon grease since they serve bacon. It's too bad you can't even have the salads, plain. I didn't realize you had severe intolerance to gluten and dairy that cross contamination would be dangerous to you. On their website they do say they can't assure there is no cross-contamination as most food is prepared by another company, outside of the train.

65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on June 08, 2012
at 12:25 PM

Thanks for your comments, I'm definitely going to bring my own food as there really is no assurance of food quality, preparation methods or that they can ensure no gluten cross contamination

65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on June 08, 2012
at 12:15 PM

Thanks for your comments, I'm definitely going to bring my own food as there really is no assurance that they can ensure no gluten cross contamination

65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on June 08, 2012
at 12:15 PM

Thanks Luisa; I did see their menu files, but pushing items aside I don't want is not an option. Omelettes cooked in pufa/butter is a no go for me, I can't do any dairy whatsoever. Often steaks cooked short order are marinated in questionable sauces and sometimes even cooled in butter to preserve tenderness. Unfortunately without an ingredients list I'm not going to do a visual check to ensure it's close to Paleo- traveling for work and I need to be in optimal condition when I arrive.

474ae29b80569199c6589e879e6cd7d1

on June 08, 2012
at 10:06 AM

Louisa gave you a great answer and I have nothing of utility to add. A 28 hour trip sounds like a lot of fun. When I did that as a teen, one of the coolest things was the eating. Because of limited space, they seated you with random people. You strike up a lot of interesting convesations. It was really cool. I'd love to do it again. Have fun!

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2 Answers

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19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on June 08, 2012
at 09:27 AM

They have full menu PDF files, you must have missed it when looking through the website.

Some of the choices look really good. You can just push aside what you don't want to eat.

(EDIT: Flickr search: http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=amtrak+food&ct=0&mt=all&adv=1 )

I put some Google Image search pictures, if you click the links. You might have to put your mouse over the picture and read the description to see if it's really Amtrak's food, but hope it helps.

Breakfast: There's fresh eggs and omelets made to order. Sounds good. Hey, there's even bacon.

Lunch: How about the vegetarian Greek salad, $3 charge if you want salmon on it.

There's also the Angus steak burger with vegetables and bacon, ask for it on a plate without the bun.

Dinner: Roast chicken salad with rice and vegetables, just don't eat the rice...
Or their signature steak, there's a bunch of sides, including vegetables.

Tell them if there are any sauces or dressings, to serve them separately (so you can check for yourself if it's Paleo)

But wow, the children's menu is terrible. I would hate being a child there... booooooring food! Might as well eat cat food!

Bring your own snacks just in case, but you can fast otherwise... :-)

65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on June 08, 2012
at 12:25 PM

Thanks for your comments, I'm definitely going to bring my own food as there really is no assurance of food quality, preparation methods or that they can ensure no gluten cross contamination

65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on June 08, 2012
at 01:15 PM

:) exactly... Even if they agreed to try and accommodate me, I'm still taking a pretty silly risk. I've got to work while traveling and from the moment I arrive, so causing myself digestive issues would be the equivalent to a musician showing up for a symphony performance with his instrument out of tune! Thanks for trying to help, I do appreciate it!

65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on June 08, 2012
at 12:15 PM

Thanks for your comments, I'm definitely going to bring my own food as there really is no assurance that they can ensure no gluten cross contamination

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on June 08, 2012
at 12:50 PM

Ah yeah, I hate those PUFAs too, make me feel pretty ill. And even if you could have butter I wonder if they would use margarine instead. Ick! Though I wonder if they could use bacon grease since they serve bacon. It's too bad you can't even have the salads, plain. I didn't realize you had severe intolerance to gluten and dairy that cross contamination would be dangerous to you. On their website they do say they can't assure there is no cross-contamination as most food is prepared by another company, outside of the train.

65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on June 08, 2012
at 12:15 PM

Thanks Luisa; I did see their menu files, but pushing items aside I don't want is not an option. Omelettes cooked in pufa/butter is a no go for me, I can't do any dairy whatsoever. Often steaks cooked short order are marinated in questionable sauces and sometimes even cooled in butter to preserve tenderness. Unfortunately without an ingredients list I'm not going to do a visual check to ensure it's close to Paleo- traveling for work and I need to be in optimal condition when I arrive.

1
Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on June 08, 2012
at 01:01 PM

This person works (or worked?) for Amtrak in food service. She might be able to shed some light:

http://paleohacks.com/questions/28326/paleo-food-choices-on-the-go-closed

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on June 08, 2012
at 01:59 PM

You might try commenting on the thread linked above to get her attention.

65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on June 08, 2012
at 01:10 PM

Yes! I'm really hoping she comes along and comments! :)

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