After touring the Amtrak Coast Starlight I had worked up an appetite. Around 2pm I was called for lunch, although the reservation was for 1:30. I didn’t mind, but I assume they generally run a little late with a full train like today. I was seated with two teenagers whose family was at the table across from us. Although both boys were very well mannered, it was a little hard striking up conversation. However, they were good sports and took photos of their meals for me. The menu listed prices for coach passengers, but any meal was free for sleeper (first class) passengers.
I was assured by one of my lunch-mates that the burger was tasty.
The “Special” meal also came with a starter salad and was well received by the whole family as it was passed from person to person.
And I had the pulled pork sandwich. It wasn’t my first choice, but I wanted several pictures for the blog so I chose something they didn’t order. See what I do you for you? 😉
As we passed up the coast there was some beautiful scenery, crashing waves, beaches, and the occasional dolphin and whale sighting.
As I walked through the Parlor car, where first class passengers can also dine, I saw a number of passengers eating cold sandwiches. There was one hot dish that was served out of a bain-marie. Although the parlor car is quaint, there doesn’t seem to be any difference in service, but I’m looking forward to trying it some other time.
After lunch the tracks headed inland and the scenery dulled to farmland and hillside. Although pleasant, it was no match for the ocean waves earlier.
At 3pm a wine tasting was offered in the parlor car for $5 for first class passengers. By that time I had drank enough splits of champagne to give myself a headache so I skipped the actual tasting.
Around this time the food service attendant returned to take dinner orders. This time she started in the front most cars and took our reservations first. Although the parlor car was an option, the choices were a simple stew again. I chose to go to the dining room.
After completing some work and writing some of these blog posts, I was called for dinner around 7pm. Surprisingly I was the only passenger who sat down to dinner with their SLR camera in hand. Doesn’t everyone take pictures of their food?
My new table-mate Alan and I ordered the steak, while his wife ordered the Chicken and Linda ordered the Salmon. Our waitress brought out the drinks followed by a very simple salad. Dressing was already on the table in individual packets.
I didn’t have high expectations for the food, as my only previous experience was on the Lake Shore Limited and the food seemed pre-packaged. However the food was reasonable and everyone agreed “better than expected”.
Desert was a choice of cheesecake, carrot cake, ice cream, brownie, or sorbet. My cheesecake was served with blueberry topping.
After leaving a tip, I bid my dinner companions farewell and headed back to the room to pack up as we would be arriving in San Jose shortly.
All in all it was an enjoyable trip. I got a lot of work done while having a very relaxing time touring the coast of California. I’d recommend this trip over a TSA groping any day.