It seemed to us that The American Queen placed a lot of emphasis on dining. In fact, several people commented that they may have gone overboard in that way. I have to say I had no complaints with the food served in any of the dining rooms. The only problems were service-related and were generally minor.
Food on the AQ is served in several other places. Besides the Main Dining Room, food is also served on The Front Porch and at The River Grill also serve food.
The Main Dining Room serves the major meals. Breakfast and lunch is buffet style with an optional limited menu. Dinner is served at two sittings, early at 5:30 and late at 8:30 (times varied depending upon other events).
Here’s a typical view of the lunch buffet in the main dining room.
Was surprised one day to find whole roast pig on the lunch buffet. I was told they spend over 12 hours preparing each one (and they had several.)
Seating for dinner is at an assigned table and with the same dinner companions each evening. Jan and I were exceptionally fortunate that we fell in with an interesting and fun group. Every evening was fill with good conversation and humor. Left to right are Diane & Joe (Florida), Me & Jan (Iowa), Pam (New Zealand), and Tom & Wendy (Maryland).
The Front Porch is open 24 hrs per day featuring free soft drinks, soft-serve ice cream, popcorn, snacks, fruit and limited food selections for breakfast and lunch. Occasionally they served dinner such as barbecue ribs or chicken. It seemed to be the favorite place for non-drinkers though often there was someone there to fetch drinks from one of the bars if desired. Her’s the inside (air conditioned) part. This was early in the morning so not many people were there. The outside (open air) part was popular in the morning before it got too hot. It was a good vantage point for watching where the boat was going or what was happening when docked.
The River Grill is an open deck Bar (partly shaded) overlooking the paddle wheel. Usually they have food there like burgers, ribs etc. but on this cruise the temperatures were so hot that the only time they did this was for the 4th of July ‘picnic’. Still, with a breeze and when some tables were shaded, we spent a lot of time there. It is also the place where we went to watch the fireworks and the air show.
Here is a picture of the setting up for the 4th of July picnic at the River Grill
Alcohol is available in several places. I should warn that, except at the evening meal and for special occasions, you must charge your drinks to your stateroom. Their prices for drinks are rather high – for example a glass of Single Malt Scotch starts at $18 for Oban and ranges up to $30 for Laphroaig . A good Chardonnay was $9 a glass.
In the Main Dining Room complementary wine and beer is available with the evening meal.
The Engine Room Bar is the nicest, most ‘cozy’ place to get a drink. They have a large selection and often have entertainment. Just outside this bar on the port side is the only smoking area that I noticed but it is well isolated from the bar proper. The Engine Room Bar is rather and in the later evenings of for certain entertainers it can get crowded.
Alcohol is also served during many evening performances in the theater at the same charge as from the Captain Bar.