If you’re looking for a local taste during your next trip to Walt Disney World, don’t miss The Polite Pig at Disney Springs. Run by the Petrakis family (Orlando culinary legends), this counter-service restaurant offers modern BBQ with a Florida twist.
James and Julie Petrakis are a husband and wife team. They are both native to the Orlando area but met at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. After working in several kitchens and discovering a love of local and sustainable ingredients, the couple returned to Central Florida to open their first restaurant. The Ravenous Pig, an award-winning Gastropub, is still a significant landmark in the Orlando foodie landscape. For four years, the Petrakis’ have been recognized as semi-finalists by the James Beard Foundation for “Best Chef-South.”
The Polite Pig Experience
After ordering at the counter, Guests can choose to sit in the indoor dining room or outdoor patio. Either location features a bar with plenty of local draft beer, bourbon, and signature cocktails. Some of the draft beer selections are actually brewed by the Petrakis’ very own Ravenous Pig Brewing Co.
The Polite Pig Food
Instead of the expected heavy sauces and meats, The Polite Pig offers unique combinations such as Citrus Marinade Chicken and Maple-Dijon Glaze Cedar Plank Salmon. Don’t worry if you’re a fan of more traditional BBQ fare, you can still find the standard ribs, pork, and brisket.
Honestly, I don’t generally care for BBQ food. I’m not much of a meat eater, and traditional side items are simply too heavy. All too often a side of green beans is cooked with ham or there’s nothing lighter than potato salad covered in thick mayonnaise.
The Polite Pig fixes this problem so that even the least enthusiastic (me), can find meals and side items that are not only satisfying but incredibly delicious! Of course, the menu includes sinfully rich Macaroni and Cheese, Sweet Potato Tots, and Baked Beans with Sausage and Burnt Ends. But it also includes lighter options, like Whiskey-Caramel Brussel Sprouts, Grilled Street Corn, and Tomato and Watermelon Salad.
Of course, there’s nothing like a sweet dessert to round out a delicious meal. All of The Polite Pig’s dessert selections are made with locally sourced ingredients. Selections may include Orange Blossom Pie, Red Velvet Cake, or Buttermilk Chess Pie.
I have been to The Polite Pig on two occasions, and I’ve always immensely enjoyed my meal. There’s enough variety to satisfy most, if not all, palates. However, I will point out that if you have a particularly picky eater in your family – the restaurant may not work. While there are a variety of dishes available, many of them feature a unique and special flavor (such as a citrus marinade or coffee rub). Picky eaters may not be able to find an option with which they feel comfortable.
Additionally, I wouldn’t suggest this restaurant for those following vegan diets. While it is certainly possible to find a satisfying vegetarian meal, only the BBQ Waffle Fries can be ordered vegan without making significant modifications.
If you think your family would enjoy a bit of Florida BBQ, I highly recommend this restaurant. The counter service set up offers a convenient meal, but the food still has a refined and upscale taste. You can find The Polite Pig in Disney Springs, near the Lime Parking Garage and UNIQLO store!