UPDATE: The Polite Pig takes one quick service credit on the Disney Dining Plan. (So glad this was changed!)
We’re at The Polite Pig, where “Please and Thank You are still magic words!”
The newest fast-casual spot in Disney Springs is now open in the Town Center! The Polite Pig is the latest restaurant venture by James and Julie Petrakis in partnership with James’ brother, Brian. James and Julie Petrakis are the James Beard-nominated owners of The Ravenous Pig and Cask & Larder, both based in Winter Park, Florida (and Brian owns and operates Greens & Grille in Orlando).
Like its big sister, The Ravenous Pig, The Polite Pig focuses on local flavors and ingredients, and the emphasis here is on wood-fired, smoked “Modern Barbecue” with all drinks in the establishment on tap.
So let’s brush up on our manners and mind our p’s and q’s with our very first visit to The Polite Pig!
Coming from the World of Disney Store in the Marketplace, head towards Amorette’s Patisserie in the Town Center. You’ll find The Polite Pig just a few more steps from there. Another landmark for you: it’s directly to the right of the stairs coming down from the Lime Parking Garage.
The first thing you’ll notice upon approaching the restaurant from the front is that there is plenty of outdoor seating (both shaded and in the open) surrounding the outside bar.
But with seating for nearly 200 guests, there are plenty of tables inside as well, with a mix of booths and chairs to hightop tables, in addition to more bar seating.
Note the rolls of paper towels on each and every table.
That’s because, when it comes to seven sauces at the Sauce Bar, things can get pretty messy!
And speaking of the sauce bar… here’s a chance to read up on your choices and even receive suggested pairings from the menu.
As for what you’re going to put those sauces ON, some spaces offer you a vantage point for the open kitchen, including what’s smokin’ inside The Smoker.
The general feel captures what you might think of when you hear the words “Modern” and “Barbecue” used together: the space is polished, but with hints of a rustic vibe throughout.
I’d say it’s even got a bit of an industrial feel… but that’s not to say it’s unapproachable. That’s best proven by the fact that you’ll notice swines — I mean, SIGNS — of our well-mannered friend here and there!
Now, here’s a very small thing, but as someone who ALWAYS has a mobile device and/or a bag…
There are handy little bag hooks hanging under the bar (and outlets, too!!!!!!!!).
That’s one thoughtful Pig!!
So, those are some of the touches that make the spot unique. And here’s one more…
We decided to give this bit its own section because The Polite Pig operates — and is classified — a bit differently than other eateries that are listed as “fast-casual,” according to Disney. Upon entering, guests can order at the register counter. (Unless, that is, you sit at the bar, in which case you are waited on by the bartender.)
After placing your order, you’ll receive a Place Tracker, which allows a Cast Member to find you and deliver your order to the table.
As you’re eating, servers will come around to check on you during the meal to see if you need drink refills, etc. Currently this location takes one quick service credit on the Disney Dining Plan.
The “Modern Barbecue” that makes up the fare at The Polite Pig revolves around a list of sandwiches and entrees, served along with a few appetizers (or “snacks”), salads, and market sides. The dessert options are Orange Blossom Honey Cake and Key Lime Pie.
A quick look under the “From the Smoker” section informs that these entrees come with slaw, Texas Toast, and one of the market sides.
The Polite Pig also showcases a beverage program with all drinks on tap, including Cask & Larder brews, wine, and cocktails served by the glass or pitcher.
Fountain drinks are also available.
“Sweet or unsweet?” 🙂
Mind, if you prefer a bit of Bourbon, you may really enjoy perusing the list of over 50 selections at the Bourbon Bar, featuring small batch bourbons and some local options among the choices.
Our GIGANTIC starter was the Hop Salt Pretzel.
It’s served with beer cheese fondue (more, please 😉 !) and an IPA mustard to complement the pretzel.
The bread itself was great, but what really makes this item unusual is the Hop Salt — this was a new seasoning for me, and there was a LOT of it on there.
Essentially, it tasted like a really intense salt, with just a hint of bitterness to it. It definitely has its own flavor.
For our Sandwich, we went with The Southern Pig.
I don’t know if this comes across in the photo, but this pulled pork sandwich (served with apple slaw, mustard sauce, and Duke’s mayonnaise all topped off with a pickle spear) delivers another terrific portion size.
What stood out to me here — aside from the serving size — was just how fresh everything tasted. “Fresh” is not a word I typically use when describing barbecue, but its apt here, especially when considering the addition of the slaw and the super flavorful pork.
This is exactly what we anticipated when we heard The Polite Pig was coming to Disney Springs, since the other “swine” restaurants run by Julie and James Petrakis emphasize seasonal, local ingredients.
Our “From the Smoker” choice was the Brisket with coffee rub.
Before we tuck in, though, I do have to make a note. The Brisket comes with slaw and a market side — you’ll see we went with the Mac and Cheese.
According to the menu, though, it’s also supposed to be served with Texas Toast, which unfortunately we didn’t receive (without realizing it until after the fact). I attribute it to a first-day learning curve, but I did want to mention it. On the upside, though, the brisket itself was SUPER enjoyable.
Absolutely crazy juicy and tasty, with only the slightest bit of coffee taste from the rub.
And the Mac and Cheese served alongside it was another winner.
Made with a mix of cheese including parmesan, cheddar, and cottage cheese, it carries a very distinct flavor that’s definitely not your typical mac and cheese.
The Mac and Cheese started what ended up being an overall theme: my favorite part of the meal — even though I really enjoyed the meat — were those market sides (which, by the way, you can make a meal of by combining three for $15). These included the BBQ Cauliflower.
The paprika sour cream lent an interesting glaze, and the slight char on the vegetable made it… well, a lot less like eating vegetables!
Though you can trust that you are indeed getting part of your Recommended Daily Allowance as evidenced by all the fresh ingredients on the kitchen counters.
That trend continued with the Crispy Brussels Sprouts.
Which are glazed in a whiskey-caramel. For reals.
Finally, we grabbed the Sweet Potato Tots sprinkled with parmesan cheese. Nicely crisp on the outside…
… and perfectly soft on the inside, all coming together for nice sweet-and-salty side.
So, what did we wash it all down with? We decided to go with one of the Cocktails on Tap: an Old-Fashioned.
While most of the items at The Polite Pig are exclusive to the location, this one is known as a “crowd favorite” at The Ravenous Pig.
Here it’s made with Four Roses Bourbon (which you’ll also find listed on the Bourbon Bar menu) and bitters. I found it to be very smooth, despite being on tap. A pleasant surprise!
Now, The Polite Pig offers a little advice that we couldn’t help but follow. (See Number Four.)
Something we can all agree on! THIS is the Orange Blossom Honey Cake.
The very dense but moist cake is covered with just a thin layer of icing, which typically wouldn’t be nearly enough for me!
But here, the main punch of sweetness is delivered by the very sweet Orange Blossom Honey, lending it’s unique (with just a hint of floral) citrusy flavor.
Even though it pained me a bit to not indulge in the Key Lime Pie (don’t worry; I’ll get it next time!), I thought this was a terrific end to the meal.
How fun to have another spot in Disney Springs (the other being Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’) that really put the spotlight on Florida ingredients and flavors!
Now, a word on Dining Plan and Discounts. This location will honor DVC and AP discounts, and takes one quick service credit on the Disney Dining Plan, which makes it a great deal. Fresh food, innovative — and extensive! — beverage options, and a fun flair make The Polite Pig a welcome neighbor, and a unique and interesting addition to the Disney Springs dining scene.
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Are you planning to pay a visit to The Polite Pig? Please let us know with a comment!