Real Chinaware

After a few years of bad food on plastic dinnerware, Amtrak announced that it would offer real china on the Coast Starlight and perhaps one or two other trains. Again, I forget exactly when this happened, but it was sometime in the mid-1980s.

Click image to download a 252-KB PDF of this flyer.

As shown by the menu below, the food itself was pretty much unchanged from the 1985 menu presented yesterday. Printed on ordinary paper, the menu itself was even cheaper than yesterday’s, which was printed on glossy paper.

Click image to download a 1.3-MB PDF of this menu.

The breakfast and lunch menu selection was slightly greater than the 1985 menu, but the dinner selection was unchanged. All the changes really meant was that the food was just as inedible but it was service on slightly better plates.


Real Chinaware — 2 Comments

  1. Wow, were we supposed to be impressed. Old enough to remember the last years of the ATSF “Super Chief” with NO plastic, passed hors d’oeuvres in the “Pleasure Dome”, the famous “Mimbreno” china and heavy hotel silver plate. My, my how far we’ve “progressed” especially with today’s “Silver Star” that has no dining car at all on it’s overnight run. Third world?

  2. I remember having a conversation back in July 2008 on board the Starlight with Marty Scholdt, who was a supervisor of some kind for on-board service. I asked about the plastic plates, and IIRC he said it was a labor saving issue, i.e. no need for dish washing. I pointed out to him that Amtrak is a supposedly “green” mode of travel, and to be consistent they should be washing and re-using dishes, not filling up landfills with plastic.

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