We've already raved about the Smokehouse at Epcot's International Flower & Garden Festival. Now it's time to talk Northern Bloom – the second booth whose menu I was dying to tackle after I did a first flip through the festival passport.
Northern Bloom is Canada's aptly named kitchen at this year's festival, and is of course located just outside the Canada pavilion in World Showcase.
The menu looked absolutely amazing and the foods themselves did not disappoint. As usual, I took one for the team and ordered the full slate of options – and here are the results.
- Seared Scallops with French Green Beans, Butter Potatoes, Brown-Butter Vinaigrette, and Applewood-smoked Bacon ($6.50) (gluten free)
I dig a good scallop and Epcot's various offerings throughout recent festivals have not disappointed. But here they up the ante because these scallops have been cavorting with BACON. I don't know if it's typical of this dish, but my order didn't have much in the way of visible pieces of bacon in it. It was more like I was eating scallops that had been making out with bacon earlier in the day and still had that smell and taste all over them. They were SO GOOD. The beans were crisp and the potatoes were soaked in flavor and the scallops themselves were perfection. The brown butter vinaigrette was definitely strong, so if you aren't a fan of vinegar this isn't for you. But if you love this kind of flavor combo as much as I do I beg you to hit this booth up and not be bashful about licking the container clean. Waste not want not and all that.
- Beef Tenderloin Tips, Mushroom Bordelaise Sauce, and Whipped Potatoes with Garden Vegetables ($6.75)
So this is a solid little dish without a lot of fanfare. If you're craving a good stew-type dish (and who isn't in Florida heat in the spring??) this will hit the spot. To be honest, after all of Epcot's pureed root vegetable experimentation, I had to do a double take at actual mashed potatoes that lacked the soft creaminess of celery root or squash. No complaints here – just not a lot to say. If you're traveling with a meat and potatoes kinda girl or guy, get them this. They'll like it.
- Griddled Maple Pound Cake with Warm Peach Compote and Sweet Corn Gelato ($4.50)
This is grilled pound cake with warm, soft peaches, gelato, and popcorn. So, in short, it is delicious. Honestly the cake itself took a backseat to the peaches and gelato, which soaked into the cake quite nicely to make for a sloppy, delicious, and not entirely overly sweet dessert. The verdict was that all cake should be under warm fruit and corn ice cream (and popcorn if you're feeling frisky).
- Maple Popcorn Shake with Crown Royal Maple Whiskey ($11.75)
This is basically a maple whiskey milkshake with popcorn floating on top. So you should get it and thank god that there are no calories in Disney World. Cheers and enjoy.