During the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival, you’ll find the Northern Bloom outdoor kitchen near the Canada pavilion of World Showcase. Here in our Northern Bloom review, we’ll talk about the food and if we think it is worth the price. We’ll have pictures of it all too.
When it comes to the various festivals held at Epcot, the Canada booth is usually one of the favorites across the board. The Flower & Garden festival incarnation of the booth is no exception.
Let’s take a look at the Northern Bloom menu. This year the outdoor kitchen features the following foods:
- Seared Scallops with French Green Beans, Butter Potatoes, Brown Butter Vinaigrette and Apple-wood Smoked Bacon (GF)
- Beef Tenderloin Tips, Mushroom Bordelaise Sauce, Whipped Potatoes with Garden Vegetables (KA)
- Griddled Maple Pound Cake with Warm Peach Compote and Sweet Corn Gelato, featuring Burton’s Maple Syrup (KA)
Besides the food items, Northern Bloom features several cocktails and a non-alcoholic shake. You can see them all listed out in the menu above. We have a post if you are interested in the outdoor kitchen menus at the Flower & Garden Festival. We should also mention that we have a Guide to the 2020 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival.
Let’s look at the food at the Northern Bloom outdoor kitchen.
Seared Scallops with French Green Beans, Butter Potatoes, Brown Butter Vinaigrette and Apple-wood Smoked Bacon (GF)— $7.00
We had the scallops last year and didn’t really care for them. They were very “bacony” if you want to call it that. The bacon flavor permeated everything and was just overpowering. Yes, there is such a thing as too much bacon! We decided to give them a shot this year to see if they were any different.
This year, I’m pleased to say this dish is much better this year. Gone is the overpowering bacon flavor, replaced by a lovely balance between the two that elevates this dish to a favorite. The bacon and butter blended together well and gave the dish a tremendous acidic flavor. The scallops were cooked perfectly with an excellent crispy exterior that belies a tender interior. The side of green beans is substantial and benefits from the brown butter vinaigrette too. I was glad that the green beans were not overcooked and soggy. Instead, I found them to have a nice crunch to them; that is precisely how I like my green beans.
Carla did note that the scallops we received last year were under a heat lamp for who knows how long. This year they were freshly made. Carla wondered if that kept the bacon from permiating all the other food to the same level, helping the flavor.
While the scallops aren’t gigantic, I will say they are a reasonable size for the price. The amount of food you get for the price makes this a great value.
Beef Tenderloin Tips, Mushroom Bordelaise Sauce, Whipped Potatoes with Garden Vegetables (KA) – $6.75
Unfortunately, our bad luck with the beef that is served at the various Canadian festival booths continued this day. The beef tenderloin was overcooked to the point that I found parts of it chewy. I even had to spit out a part of it because it was inedible. It’s a shame too because the sides that come with it are pretty good. The mushroom bordelaise sauce was excellent, but there just wasn’t enough on the beef to hide the other issues. The potatoes were light and whipped well. I found the onions to be an excellent pairing with both the potatoes and the beef.
The portion size was not bad, but the fact that several bites of the beef were inedible throws the value out of what here. We don’t recommend getting this dish. In fact, we think you should stay away from it.
Griddled Maple Pound Cake with Warm Peach Compote and Sweet Corn Gelato, featuring Burton’s Maple Syrup (KA) – $4.75
We didn’t try the pound cake last year, so this was a new item for us. The pound cake itself was okay, if not slightly overcooked. However, the heaping serving of sweet corn gelato softened it up a bit and made the dish something we devoured. The combination of maple syrup and peach compote worked very well with the gelato, giving us a great sweet treat. I will say the popcorn was a bit unnecessary. It added a little texture to the dish but wasn’t something that took it to another level.
The portion size here is pretty good, and it provided an ample finishing dessert for Anna, Elsa, and me. We consider this one of the better desserts of the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival and highly recommend it.
Maple Popcorn Shake (KA) – $4.75
You can get the Maple Popcorn Shake with alcohol if you want, but once again, I was sharing with the kids. The shake itself is good, but when you have so many excellent smoothie/shake like drinks around, it’s hard for me to recommend this one. Anna and Elsa both loved it. The maple flavor is excellent, but I didn’t like the popcorn floating in the shake. It became an annoyance when drinking and didn’t give the shake any sort of pop.
We should note, if you choose to get the shake with alcohol, it comes with rye whiskey.
It’s an okay value, and if this is a drink that is right up your alley, then feel free to get it. If you are unsure, I would recommend you get one of the other sweet drinks at another booth. We have all our reviews at the bottom of this post. I recommend looking at Honey Bee-stro or Citrus Blossom.
Drinks at Northern Bloom
That is everything we sampled as part of our Northern Bloom review. The other drinks you can have here are:
- Unibroue Éphémère Apple Wheat Ale, Chambly, Québec
- 81Bay Brewing Apricot with Maple Syrup, Tampa, FL
- Collective Arts Brewing Blackberry Fruit Beer, Hamilton, Ontario
- Beer Flight
Wrapping Up Our Northern Bloom Review
All in all, Northern Bloom went up a notch from last year. The scallops and pound cake are definitely worth stopping by to have.
If you are interested in more of our Epcot Flower & Garden Festival outdoor kitchen reviews, we’ll link to them down here as we finish them! We hope you enjoy the food and the reviews!