Dinner aboard the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad a suitable celebration – News-Herald

Dinner aboard the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad a suitable celebration – News-Herald


A evening meal aboard the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad was the location when 4 onetime News-Herald colleagues just lately reunited. It had been at minimum 30 a long time considering that most of us had worked collectively and, besides for me, all experienced moved on to other work as writers. But now our previous editor experienced moved back to Ohio, and we needed to reconnect.

The Cuyahoga Valley Nationwide Park, which fills much more than 33,000 acres alongside the Cuyahoga River valley in between Cleveland and Akron, is now the yard of Joan Stewart, who returned to Northeast Ohio earlier this yr. She experienced been Joan Gestl when she led the news operation for The Information-Herald in the 1980s.

Dinner aboard the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad a suitable celebration – News-Herald

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad teach, the only just one working by one of this country’s countrywide parks, appeared a acceptable placing for our reunion celebration.

Other folks gathered at the train’s Rockside Station in Independence had been bound for various adventures, like a beer tasting, a trivia night, a murder mystery and even a caboose ride. They would be guided to the proper rail vehicle for their celebration when the coach remaining the station at 6:30 p.m. There’s no dress code for anybody, but a nearer glance discovered those people destined for the eating encounter to be a minimal additional dressed up.

Our reserved seats were being in the Silver Solarium, a domed auto designed in the 1940s for eating and sightseeing between Chicago and San Francisco aboard the Chicago, Quincy & Burlington Railroad’s California Zephyr. Ownership transferred to Amtrak in 1971, and it was restored and upgraded for charters when marketed to new homeowners in 1978. Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad acquired the auto in 2018, and it’s 1 of a number of operated for the evening meal practice. It is also the rail automobile made use of on the line’s weekend breakfast trains.

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad chugs into the Rockside Station. (Janet Podolak ??

The line’s two-hour evening meal trains operate each Friday via Aug. 5 and boast a four-system meal, the cost of which features wine, beer and cocktails. Alternatives concerning two chef-prepared entrees are made in advance, typically on the internet. Tickets variety from $105 to $120 relying on the seat. The dome autos seat groups of four, even though one and double seating is accessible on cozy seats in the coach autos.

A limited established of stairs flanked by lighted railings led us up into our dome motor vehicle, wherever white tablecloths draped 8 tables for just 24 diners. We were available wine and cocktails as we ended up seated prior to an appetizer previously on the table. A tasty blend of salty Cotija cheese with watermelon, tomatillo and a masa dumpling was an extraordinary starter.

A server at the foot of the short stairway leading to the dome car is ready to assist passengers and other servers. (Janet Podolak ??

When underway, Trainman Nancy Prosser advised us a minor about what we were being seeing en route as the prepare headed south from its Rockside Road station in Independence towards Akron. She confirmed us the place to seem for bald eagles and blue herons and pointed out the line’s Fitzwater coach yard, where by volunteers are experienced and restoration work on its rail cars and trucks is performed.

Our dome vehicle was just a few vehicles guiding the engine, and it was a surprise that the practice traveled backward at the beginning of the journey, stopped soon after 45 minutes, and then traveled forward again to the Rockside Street station.

Several dome cars are available for dinner seating along with more traditional coach seating. (Janet Podolak ??

Chef Christopher Kafcsak and his Nomad Culinary team structure the menus and cater the meals, prepping the foods in a Broadview Heights kitchen area and ending the meals in the galley kitchen aboard the coach. Onboard chef, June Fertig, answered our food stuff concerns. The two are graduates of the culinary program at Cuyahoga Community Faculty.

Our group all experienced decided on the Mole Negro Rooster as our entree, but we could not help remaining impressed with the part dimension when individuals in the booth across the aisle bought their Mole Negro Sirloin. The sauce for both of those was a conventional Mexican mole — smoky and marginally spicy with a trace of bittersweet chocolate. Each foods have been accented with chopped zucchini, chayote, chamomile and chili pepper and served around basmati rice.

The rooster variation was delightful, but the abnormal iceberg salad 2nd system gained rave evaluations from all of us. Napped with a tasty cilantro-lime vinaigrette, it had bits of corn, crimson onion, avocado and tomato nestled amid the iceberg lettuce parts. The taste mix was united by the eco-friendly-tinged dressing.


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