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We're talking "hot" meal options. 

Elisabeth Sherman
July 17, 2018

Planning on taking a cross-country trip on an Amtrak train? It’s becoming an increasingly uncommon mode of travel, so perhaps in an attempt to make the experience more pleasant for passengers, Amtrak is upgrading its sleeper car menu.

In the past, Amtrak only offered cold food options (like sandwiches) to passengers, but if you’re spending on the night on an Amtrak train you can now order a hot meal: slow braised beef short ribs in a red wine and beer sauce. The ribs are served with a mixed greens salad with balsamic vinaigrette, and salted caramel cheesecake for dessert, according to USA Today. If you’d rather stick to the so-called chilled menu items, a vegan wrap and chicken Caesar salad will also be available. However, dinner isn’t the only meal getting a makeover—breakfast options now include a quinoa breakfast bar and a Greek yogurt parfait.

Just last month, Amtrak unveiled a new menu for the café car on its Northeast Corridor lines. A partnership with Boar’s Head promises fresher meats and cheeses on the train’s sandwiches, and there are gluten-free options now, too. There will even be fancier booze on board: The bar added Maker’s Mark bourbon.

While classic snack menu items, like the Hebrew National hot dog, have stayed the same, Amtrak has added some healthier options as well, including fresh cut vegetables, served with chipotle ranch dressing.

Amtrak’s competition is intense: Many train stations now feature popular fast food spots like Shake Shack, with grab-and-go meals that you can take with you. Meanwhile, some airlines have collaborated with celebrity chefs to improve in-flight menus.

Here’s something that hasn’t changed about Amtrak’s menu: Sleeper car passengers still get unlimited soft drinks, and one complimentary alcoholic drink, which will probably make it a little easier to rest easy in a train car.