I post this because I generally support passenger trains. It's my preferred mode of travel to either the bus or the airplane. In fact my goal is to take a long-distance train to California in the near future. Perhaps do it in style the way this guy did in a [VIDEO] on YouTube.
I found this article via Instapundit that took a shot at meals on Amtrak:
Only a government subsidized operation could sell hamburgers for $10 each and lose money. People who use Amtrak know that the food is overpriced and not very good. But, hey, it’s a captive dining audience, right? The dining car should be a way for Amtrak to recoup some of its losses from running its expensive trains. Instead, the food system is so badly managed that somehow it also loses a lot of money, apparently because of theft, bad management, high labor costs, and other problems.
All the same, to be honest I don't have a lot of experience with the Amtrak dining car meals. Usually I travel with my mother and she doesn't want to bother with them primarily because of cost. Also she doesn't make a habit of going from car to car even for food.
Furthermore I generally don't like what's available in the lounge car. If it requires heating it's done so in a microwave and the results aren't that great. Otherwise you probably could just buy a danish or some potato chips or what not in addition to candy or be sure to bring your own food.
Well when it's time for that vacation similar to the one I took in 2005 to LA, we shall see how the food is then!