Breakfast is the one meal with little chance for variety on board a train. I started my morning just outside of Shelby, MT with pancakes and pork sausage. The pancakes were cooked through and not undercooked as sometimes can be the case with quick prepared breakfasts, and the sausage while obviously coming from under a heat lamp was still juicy and flavorful.
Service was quick and easy as you would expect in a small space with many passengers to feed quickly. A good breakfast and great start to the day.
Today's Lunch Market special was a stir fry chicken but had way more sauce than I consider normal for a stir fry.
Very spicy, with big chunks of peppers and broccoli. Served over a rice pilaf. I should have gone with something else, as this was not a good meal.
Service was slow. Painfully slow, and even more so given how quick it normally is. A couple who was seated at my table after I had ordered my drink was finished with lunch and ordering dessert by the time my entree arrived. Hopefully it was an anomaly and service will be up to par for the rest of the trip.
Dinner I decided on the Catch of the Day, which was catfish tonight. It could have been seasoned better, and while others said it was great mine was a little muddy. The seasoning is just personal preference and the muddiness is dumb luck with catfish. I should have had the steak I guess. Dinner was served with a rice pilaf and green beans, both of which were great. In all a good but not great day dining aboard the Empire builder. The service anomaly from lunch thankfully proved itself just that, and dinner was a great time once again meeting new people and harassing the staff.
For my whiskey selection tonight I opened the first of two interesting new whiskeys made from already brewed and DRINKABLE beer.
Tonight's selection is Pine Barrens Single Malt, distilled from a single malted traditional barley wine by the folks at Long Island Spirits in Baiting Hollow, NY. They start by brewing from scratch a traditional English Style Barley Wine Ale and then double pot distill the conditioned Ale.
The result is very aromatic, with hints of nutmeg and allspice on the nose. The first taste gives Pine Barrens it's name, as the very floral note has a pine tar hint that quickly faded to cinnamon and nutmeg giving it a very smooth and sweet finish. The sharp floral notes make this feel almost more like a cordial or digestif than a whiskey, but from ingredients to process a whiskey it is. A very nice taste that goes perfect after a meal.