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

Aug 5, 2021

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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.

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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.

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.

Featured photo by Scott Mayerowitz/The Points Guy.

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