Rural Missouri - October 2011 - (Page 10)

Dining on the tracks Columbia Star Dinner Train recalls a bygone era when train travel once ruled the country “Ever since I started working for railroad companies out of high school, I have always had a soft spot in my heart for passenger cars and locomotives,” ith the sun fading into says Mark. “When I had heard that this the western sky and the train that I had seen in action while I low rumble of engines in was in college in Michigan was for sale, I the background, guests jumped on it with a restoration in mind begin making their way on board and and to one day operate it again as a dinfinding their seats inside the train’s dinner train.” ing cars. They are greeted by an elegant Although dinner trains can be found table setting with crisp, white tablein other states across the country, cloths and candlelight reminiscent of Columbia’s is unique in that it is one times from the golden age of train travel of the few that has an on-board, fullnearly a century ago. service restaurant. As a thundering blast from the train On Friday and Saturday nights, dinwhistle bellows through the rural area ner is served with a brunch available on north of Columbia, passenger Mona Sundays for riders. Dickerson of Centralia feels as though Guests are served a four-course meal, she has stepped back in time. including appetizers, salad, entrée and “This brings back memories as a kid dessert, as the train travels at a leisurely riding these lines with my father,” says speed past scenic pastures and farmland Mona, a Boone Electric Cooperative Top: The Columbia Star Dinner Train takes passengers through Boone County for that most don’t get the opportunity to member. “He used to work as a conduca nearly three-hour round trip from Columbia to Centralia. Above: Waiter Adam get out and see. tor for the Wabash Railroad out of CenSandberg carries a tray of salads to guests. Riders are treated to a four-course meal “We usually start with some sort of tralia. I used to always enjoy riding the complete with appetizers, salads, an entrée of their choice and dessert. appetizer prepared fresh that evening,” old trains and the dining cars.” says head chef Scott Hampton. “Lately, Since opening in July, the Columbia I have been preparing a spanakopita, which is Star Dinner Train has offered patrons both a gourcheese, spinach and vegetables wrapped in phyllo met meal and a chance to recapture the romance dough and baked. I also have served up smoked of a bygone era on a relaxing three-hour ride to salmon mousse and other traditional appetizers.” Centralia and back through the rural countryside Next, freshly baked artisan bread and the of Boone County. Columbia Star Salad are served with a plate of “We are creating an experience,” says owner fresh, seasonal vegetables and topped with a Mark Vaughn. “There hasn’t been a passenger homemade dressing that changes based on what train near Columbia since 1968, so this is somepairs best with the vegetables. thing special for people to see.” Entrées, which guests select when bookThe train truly is a piece of history with its two ing their reservations, are then served. Options locomotives, three dining cars that can hold up include roasted chicken, pan-fried potato encrustto 224 people and a kitchen car. The two locomoed salmon filet, seasoned and slow-roasted prime tives are necessary because the train can’t make rib or a vegetarian dish with stuffed portabella a U-turn in Centralia and must go back the same mushrooms and risotto. All of the entrées are way it came. served with a varying side such as potatoes, vegOriginally built for the Great Northern Railetables or rice. way, the two diesel-electric locomotives were The meal finishes with a dessert Scott and manufactured by the Electro-Motive Division his assistant chefs make on board from scratch. of General Motors in 1948 and 1953. These These can vary from a chocolate mousse or crème 1,500-horsepower locomotives once pulled cars brûlée to a peach and blueberry cobbler or strawfrom St. Paul, Minn., to Seattle and logged milberry shortcake. lions of miles before being decommissioned in For brunch, guests are treated to a first course the 1980s in favor of more powerful engines. of fresh fruit and pastries, followed by a choice Originally built as coach cars by the Pullman of a quiche with smoked ham or French toast. Car Company in 1938 for the Southern Pacific All are served with a side of sausage or bacon and Railroad, the dining cars were once a part of a homestyle potatoes. A vegetable frittata is also famous train named “Daylight.” It provided the available. The brunch finishes with a light desservice between Los Angeles and San Francisco. sert, which might include apple crumb cake or The kitchen car once carried baggage for the vanilla mousse cream puffs. Chicago Burlington and Quincy before a comIn the future, Scott hopes to add a few differOwner Mark Vaughn, left, and manager Greg Weber pose in pany in Michigan converted it to provide all the ent menu items and themed dinners. Special holfront of the lead 1953 diesel-electric locomotive engine. major needs of a restaurant in the 1980s. W by Kyle Spradley kspradley@ruralmissouri.coop 10 WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - October 2011

Rural Missouri - October 2011
Table of Contents
Comments
Columns
Dining on the tracks
Zagonyi’s Charge
Staying on target
Outdoors
Husking heritage
Painting memories
Out of the Way Eats
Hearth and Home
News Briefs
On the brink
Marketplace
Around Missouri
Neighbors
Just4Kids

Rural Missouri - October 2011

https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201907
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201807
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201805
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201803
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201705
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201703
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201606
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201507
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201505
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201503
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201407
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201406
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201307
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201306
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201305
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201303
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201302
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201301
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201207
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201205
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201202
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/videotest
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201010
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com