Skip to content

Amtrak's new first-class menu includes something called 'lobster crab'

Aug. 05, 2021
4 min read
Amtrak's new first-class menu includes something called 'lobster crab'
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

I know Amtrak's marketing department meant to write "lobster and crab cakes" when describing the new "chef-inspired" first-class menu, but we all got a chuckle out of the idea that Amtrak discovered a new type of crustacean, so I figured I'd share some of those "fun times at TPG" with you in the headline above.

Amtrak's rolling out some new meal options for customers traveling in first class on Acela trains — the "high-speed" variety traveling throughout the Northeast. In addition to a meal and beverage, first-class travelers get reserved seating, a cabin attendant, more personal space and access to Amtrak lounges, including the phenomenal new location at the Moynihan Train Hall in New York.

Sign up to receive the daily TPG newsletter for more travel news

Now, according to Amtrak, they'll also get upgraded meals — here's the announcement in all of its unadulterated straight-from-the-source glory:

"First-class customers can now select from rotating menus consisting of freshly made chef-inspired items such as omelets, huevos rancheros, eggs benedict or fresh seasonal fruit for breakfast, and entrees such as chicken tandoori, lobster crab cakes, vegetable puff pastry, artisan cheese and fruit or freshly made salads for lunch and dinner. The new menu also includes a refresh of wine and beer offerings, featuring high-quality and renowned brands. Kosher and vegan meals will continue to be available by notifying Amtrak at least 24-hours in advance."

After experiencing a handful of less-than-stellar first-class meals on Acela, I've gotta say, it all sounds like a big improvement.

Related: Amtrak's new green train cars

Based on looks alone, my top pick would have to be the eggs Benedict. I mean look at this thing! That's restaurant-quality right there. And, like, a nice restaurant. That silky hollandaise sauce. Yum!

(Photo courtesy of Amtrak)

And here's the "lobster crab cake." I feel like Amtrak would have definitely added a callout if the dish had any significant amount of meat — especially any of the "jumbo lump" variety — so I'm not holding out much hope given how much you'll pay for anything resembling fresh lobster these days.

(Photo courtesy of Amtrak)

The chicken tandoori could potentially be a winner, though! My mouth is watering looking those curried veggies. I just hope the chicken doesn't end up getting too dried out in the galley oven.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

I'm feeling a bit less excited about the Spanish pork stew, which, as Amtrak describes, consists of "slow-braised pork with tomatoes, carrots, peppers, sweet onions and leeks, served with Anna potatoes." It looks heavy and you know Amtrak took extra care to make everything look as delicious as possible for these marketing pics.

(Photo courtesy of Amtrak)

There are two slightly different menus on offer, and options also vary depending on the time of day. The first menu includes chicken tandoori and the lobster crab cake, for example.

Related: Amtrak showing off new high-speed trains

(Screenshot courtesy of Amtrak)

Meanwhile, the second has the the eggs Benedict and Spanish pork stew. The cheese and fruit plate also sounds like it may be a step up from the original.

(Screenshot courtesy of Amtrak)

Depending on redemption rates, you might be able to work your way through much of the menu for free with Amtrak's incredibly generous new card offer — 50,000 points can get you over $1,400 worth of coach train travel, though points don't go quite as far on Acela.

Related: Amtrak celebrates 50 years with President Biden

Cardholders are also eligible for a complimentary one-class upgrade coupon, though, which you can use to book Acela business class and upgrade to first class.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site

Rewards

3 - 4X points
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Intro offer

60,000 bonus points
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$250

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees