Good Stuff Cookin’ at Amtrak.

Members of the NARP board were invited to Wilmington, Delaware, today for a tour of their test kitchen. I must say, it was impressive. The date is uncertain, but Amtrak will be introducing quite a wide variety of frozen meals that will first be served on overnight trains without a full-on dining car–specifically the Cardinal and the City of New Orleans.
What’s new and different is that these meals are shrink-wrapped before being frozen. Once loaded onto the train, they are thawed and then microwaved as ordered by passengers. Apparently, the shrink-wrapping is the secret because I must say that several of the dishes were very good: cooked through, still attractively arranged on the plate when served, and very tasty.
What makes this even more interesting is that this technique makes possible a whole new variety of meals. We were given samples of a half dozen different offerings, ranging from a layered pasta dish to enchiladas to barbecued ribs and it was all very good. In fact, several of the meals were actually excellent.
There was also some very welcome news: I was told by the head chef himself that French Toast will be back on Amtrak’s breakfast menu effective April 20th! That’s just in time for my trip from Seattle to Los Angeles on the Coast Starlight. Seeing is believing, but that’s encouraging!
And so to bed. I’m not even going to proof this.