Cuisine aboard the Silver Star

Posted by Fred Frailey
on Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Amtrak’s experiment with food service on the New York-Miami Silver Star has gotten me thinking about one of my favorite subjects, eating. Having no diner car on a train that at most you will ride for 28 hours is not such a bad thing, I concluded, particularly if you bump the cost of a roomette down by $125 for more.

So I challenged myself to plan a trip. I could do it the easy way and visit KFC or Popeye’s, to board with a box of fried chicken, slaw, and mashed potatoes (as if I liked cold mashed potatoes). That’s my dinner, maybe, but what about tomorrow’s breakfast and lunch? I decided I need to be more creative.

Let’s say I’m traveling from Alexandria, Va., next to the District of Columbia, to Fort Lauderdale. On my way to the station in Alexandria, I could stop at Balducci’s, an upscale grocery nearby, and assemble my own super-salad with grilled chicken. The dressing packet I could open at dinner time in the roomette. A bottle of Napa Valley Cabernet to accompany this (most wine stores sell stemless plastic wine glasses perfect for such an occasion) will make me superbly serene.

A fresh banana and yogurt travel well overnight without refrigeration. Now I have breakfast.

It’s lunch the next day that bothers me. I could dip a boneless chicken thigh in flour, egg, and bread crumbs and skillet-fry a sandwich to bring with me. But there is no refrigeration in a roomette, obviously, and do I trust the chicken to be safe to eat 20 hours later? I’m not sure, and the same answer applies to everything else that pops to mind, other than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

So come to my rescue, my fellow food lovers. I board at 3 p.m. I’m bringing dinner to eat that evening, plus breakfast and lunch the next day. What is both delicious and guaranteed safe to eat that night and the next day?—Fred W. Frailey

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