There’s definitely no shortage of places to eat and drink at Disney Springs in Orlando. This large, outdoor entertainment complex boasts dozens of eateries from kiosks serving hot dogs and brats, to quick service counters pumping out burgers and pizza, right down to high-end restaurants offering steak and seafood.
On a recent evening, I stopped by The Polite Pig, a casual quick-service restaurant with indoor seating and an outdoor bar. The restaurant is conveniently located right near the Lime Garage escalator and is a sister restaurant to the popular Ravenous Pig in Winter Park.
The Polite Pig serves smoked and grilled BBQ meats, Florida craft beers, and a great selection of bourbon. If you choose to dine inside, it’s get-you-own-food and sit down. If you hit up the outdoor bar, the bartenders will take your order and your food will be brought to you.
Not one for going the DIY route, I grabbed a seat at the bar and started looking over the menu.
Starters include wings ($13), sliders ($15), a pretzel ($9) and… well that’s it. If you’re up for a salad, there’s three to choose from ($12-$13). Sandwiches range from $11-$14 and include a BBQ sausage hoagie, brisket, a few chicken options and pulled pork. More substantial items “from the smoker” include a half chicken ($17), salmon ($22), pork shoulder ($16), ribs ($23) and a few others including a Butcher Board for Two ($39) that includes a good sampling of everything.
As I pondered what to order, I flipped the menu over to check out the selections of bourbon offered at The Polite Pig. For a quick service outlet, they have an impressive list of bourbons with prices ranging from $9 for Buffalo Trace to $90 for a George T. Stagg. Flights are also available from $15 – $51. There are nearly 75 different types to choose from, see… I told you it was impressive.
I ordered a Manhattan made with Cask Strength Makers Mark ($21) and asked the bartender for a suggestion on what to get for an entree. He recommended the brisket for $19.
Before I could take a second sip of my Manhattan, a voice from behind said, “you ordered the brisket?”
Yeah, the food came out THAT quick. I get that this is considered “quick service,” but being seated at the bar I would think that food would not come out faster than a Whopper Jr at the drive-thru.
The brisket came with a choice of one side and cornbread. There are quite a few sides to choose from priced at $6 each or 3 for $15. For the one that came with my meal, I went with the tomato and watermelon salad and ordered a side of brussels sprouts.
I was given three bottles of different sauces to experiment with and I dove in.
The brisket was tender, had a nice smoke to it, but one of the three slices was basically all fat. The sides were good, with the brussels being the star of the meal, unfortunately. While the brisket was good, that one piece with all the fat was a distraction.
The Polite Pig may be a good spot to grab a quick service lunch or sandwich but clearly shines in the booze department if you’re a fan of bourbon. My next visit may find me diving deeper into that menu after having dinner somewhere else.
While some may enjoy a rushed meal served on paper while sitting at a bar, drinking pricey bourbon, I don’t. Perhaps if there was a bit of a separation between quick service and bar, I’d give it higher marks. There is some potential here for refinement in the execution.
The Polite Pig came with glowing reviews from friends, but I struggled to find that knock-your-socks-off BBQ that I was expecting. It was just average at best.
If you’ve been here, let me know what I missed or provide some recommendations that may convince me to give it a second shot.