Cincinnati Dinner Train

Cincinnati has a fun option for dinner, thanks to the BBQ Revue.  And, no, it’s not the restaurant itself; I’m not impressed with the barbecue, and the ribs are more Montgomery Inn style than real barbecue.  But BBQ Revue is where my wife and I got on the Cincinnati Dinner Train.

The Dinner Train is a 3 hour train ride from Madisonville to Downtown and back, going south-ish to the river and stopping in the Montgomery Inn Boathouse area along the Ohio River. We showed up at about 5:30 for a 6:00 departure time, and walked up to train cars that made me think of the 20′s or 30′s. The cars were clean and well kept, and we were greeted by the conductor. The dining cars had tables on each side, each with 4 seats, and my wife and I had seats with a couple we hadn’t met before, Tom and Kimberly. It turned out that Tom is also a barbecuer, so they were obviously good people. :) Actually, we both enjoyed talking with the two of them through the train ride.

Each seat had an appetizer plate waiting, with a few things on it, mostly nothing to write home about, but nothing bad. The tables looked nice, and the staff was very welcoming and pleasant.

Before leaving, we checked out the other cars, including the bar car. Even though it was November, the temperature outside was about 70, so the bar car was opened up, with a small bar at the back and some seating along one side. During the trip back from Downtown, we looked out one of the open side doors as we rode through the Cincy suburbs.

dinner car

The food consisted of a wedge salad, which was fine. I always think that type of salad, though, is a bit lazy. How hard is it to cut a wedge of lettuce and add bleu cheese and bacon bits? It was fine, though a bit skimpy.

The main course was either salmon or prime rib, which had to be decided when buying the tickets. We both had the prime rib, which came with a baked potato and green beans. It was a bit overcooked for my tastes, but pretty decent overall. Again, the food itself was nothing special.

The views, especially along the river, were great. We stopped near Mt. Adams, and we could see the church very well, as well as some nice condos, while they reversed the direction of the train to go back. I don’t remember where dessert was served, but, if you go, don’t get the cheesecake. It was ok on its own, but the topping was a canned strawberry jam-like substance that really was subpar.

moving lights on train

We mostly stayed in the bar car for the trip back, looking out the side door, talking a bit with the staff. The staff and service, coupled with the fun ride, made the trip worthwhile. The food is fine, but not the reason to take the Cincinnati Dinner Train. The experience is worth it, though, and I’d do it again.

About Curt McAdams

I guess I'm a bit of a foodie, learning to cook from my mom, then getting obsessed with outdoor cooking, competition barbecue, bread baking and just about all things food. Lately, I've been trying to upgrade my photography skills a bit, though I still have a long way to go.


  1. I think you summed it up. Dinner cruise and train events like this are about the experience more than the cuisine itself. And that is NOT a bad thing.

  2. my wife and i also rode the dinner train in early january. we found it well worth the money. our food was great, i had the smoked prime rib and she had the chicken breast in white wine sause.we had the chocolate homemade pie which was awesome. the drink prices were very reasonable and the staff was so nice and accommodating. one of the owners was onboard and we got to speak with him about the cars and his business plan.

    this is truly a unigue cincinnati experience which i can not say enough good about. i highly reccomend it. better call ahead, they tell me they are booked solid two months out. they also told me they were adding another dining/bar car soon.

  3. Brian,

    I’m glad to hear that the train is doing well. I wasn’t overly impressed with the food, meaning only that I wouldn’t go back just for the food, but it was good. The staff, though, made it worthwhile, and just the experience itself is worth it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!

%d bloggers like this: