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.
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.
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.