The Polite Pig opened at Disney Springs today, and we swung by for lunch to check out the new offering. The Polite Pig is the newest concept for award-winning Orlando Chefs James and Julie Petrakis. The husband-wife team, also owners of The Ravenous Pig and Swine & Sons in Winter Park and Cask & Larder at Orlando International Airport, are opening this newest concept with James Petrakis’ brother Brian. Let’s jump into the review.
The Polite Pig is an easy enough space to find, located next to where guests walk out of the Lime Garage.
The Polite Pig attempts to fit into the lore of Disney Springs by taking over what was once a farmers market. The decor inside has some nice lighting elements and fits what one might expect from Disney Springs.
There’s even a fun tribute to the polite pig himself!
Pork Shoulder – $14
Polite Rub served with Slaw, Texas Toast and choice of 1 side
The pork shoulder was the better of the two entrees we’ve tried so far. It was tender with a decent variety of meat parts (fat, muscle, etc). It came drenched and sitting in a pool of the polite rub. I found the rub to be very flavorful, if not a bit overpowering. The prevailing flavor tasted like vinegar to me. Because the meat comes out lying in the rub, I think the whole shoulder could be hit or miss based on if you like the flavor of the rub and vinegar in general.
Market Side – Smoked Corn
Lime Butter and Breadcrumbs
The “Market Sides” may come with your meal or be substituted at an extra cost. They are normally $6 for one side or $15 for three. I can’t imagine a scenario where this would amount to a good value, but there you have it. On to the review.
I chose the smoked corn as a side with my meal. I guess it is worth noting that this comes “on the cob” as I was expecting it in a bowl.
Sidebar for a moment. I’m not sure what the appeal of putting breadcrumbs on everything is, but I’m not a fan. Back to the corn.
The corn was fine. I couldn’t identify the lime butter, but the smoked flavor was apparent at the end of each bite. The lack of any real flavor makes this a pass for us.
Market Sides – Mac and Cheese
Aged Cheddar and Breadcrumbs
Again, the Mac and Cheese can either be a side or ordered separately. As this was the second side I had chosen, I incurred a $3 surcharge to use it as a substitute to the slaw. Much like the corn, this wasn’t anything special. The high-water mark for Mac and Cheese is the Mama’s Mac and Cheese at Homecoming, as far as I’m concerned. The shell pasta used was overcooked and very soft, and the cheese, while nice and cheesy, didn’t wow me. At $6 this is a pass. If you get it as a free side, it might do the trick.
Brisket – $16
Coffee Rub served with Slaw, Texas Toast and choice of 1 side
The brisket wasn’t good. I’m not sure what happened here, but it was unbelievably dry and tough to get through. There isn’t much more to say here besides it’ll give you an opportunity to become quite familiar with their sauces.
Market Sides – Sweet Potato Tots
I think I enjoyed these as a side the most. The taste was exactly the same as a sweet potato fry, but in tater tot form. They were not hot when they came out, but I’ll chalk that up to opening day jitters.
There are 4 sauces on offer and while they don’t live up to the options at D-Luxe Burger, they can be respectable in their own right. Moving left to right we have the Signature Black Pepper, Sweet BBQ, Southern Gold, and White BBQ Ranch. My favorite was the Signature Black Pepper, with the Southern Gold placing last. The Sweet BBQ and BBQ Ranch were both good as well.
Orange Blossom Honey Cake – $7
To end our lunch, we decided to try the Orange Blossom Honey Cake. I will say this about the cake, you need to prepare yourself for the first bite. This cake isn’t shy on the citrus taste and it’ll hit you. We found most of the flavor to be in the frosting, with the actual cake itself taking a more subtle route with the flavoring.
The Polite Pig does offer a 10% Annual Passholder discount, but it’s somewhat moot if you plan on tipping at all. At checkout, you’re asked to input a tip amount before the payment is processed. While this is a “quick service” restaurant, the food is brought to your table via a pager of sorts. All you have to do is place the pager on the table and your food will be brought out. It’s the same setup as D-Luxe Burger.
I’m assuming it’s because of this table delivery that a tip is requested.
For us, The Polite Pig earns a polite “no, thank you”. Disney Springs has a wonderful selection of restaurants and your dollar can be better spent elsewhere. We found ourselves being done with the meal before we had even finished our plates simply because there was nothing particularly wonderful here. Between the dry brisket and uninspiring sides, there just isn’t much to get excited about at The Polite Pig.
So what should you eat at Disney Springs? For roughly the same price, you can have one of the best burgers on property at D-Luxe Burger, or if you’re really set on southern food, we highly suggest spending a bit more and heading over to Homecoming.