We’ve found that Polite Pig has a rabid fanbase, and many readers have disagreed with our disappointment in the fast casual restaurant. It probably ranks right up there with our Tony’s Town Square Review and Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano Review as the “most disagreed with” that we’ve posted. Which is absolutely fine–tastes vary, preparation and quality can be inconsistent, etc–as a diversity of opinions and disagreements are encouraged here.
In fact, as we noted in our review, we were still cheering for Polite Pig to get it right. We even recommended those on the Disney Dining Plan to roll the dice and give it a chance, since it’s a good value from a strictly objective perspective. We were recently on the Disney Dining Plan and found ourselves at Disney Springs, so we decided to take our own advice…
Rather than rehashing details about the local husband and wife team that operate Polite Pig, the fast casual nature of the restaurant, or its “streamlined hipster with a pig motif” design sensibility, I’ll simply direct you to our full Polite Pig Review for basics about the restaurant. All of that info remains accurate.
Since our previous time reviewing Polite Pig, most of the menu and pricing likewise remains about the same. One thing we’ve noticed is the addition of new permanent items that are mostly priced at the lower end of the spectrum. Polite Pig has proven fairly popular with Walt Disney World guests, but its menu was definitely top heavy with more expensive options when it opened. Great news for anyone on the Disney Dining Plan–not so much for cash-paying Walt Disney World tourists or the local audience that Disney Spring often draws.
Since we were on the Disney Dining Plan, our mission was to simply order the most expensive items on the menu in order to maximize the value of our counter service credits.
This meant ordering the Baby Back Ribs, Cedar Plank Salmon, or Beef Short Rib–the three menu options all over $20 each.
Never one to resist the siren song of ribs, that’s what I ordered.
For the sake of a more ‘diverse’ meal, Sarah opted for the Cedar Plank Salmon.
Each item in the “From the Smoker” section of the menu is served with jalapeño cornbread, signature polite slaw, and a choice of one market side.
Although this section of the menu is the most expensive, it also includes the most. The market sides alone cost $6, and are not included with anything in the other menu sections. Once you add a market side to those items, you’re looking at comparable costs.
The Baby Back Ribs with the polite rub and layla’s sweet bbq sauce were pure redemption for Polite Pig after the disappointing brisket.
These had hearty amounts of tender meat practically falling off of each bone, with the restrained amounts of rub and sauce enhancing (rather than overpowering) the natural and spectacular flavors of the meat. The fat to meat ratio was perfect, as was everything else about this. I could eat these every day for the rest of my life (which would probably be cut short if I did!) and never get tired of them.
These instantly take the crown of ‘best ribs at Walt Disney World’ and are alone worth the trip to Polite Pig. I’m not sure they’re $5 better than what Flame Tree BBQ serves, but if you’re using the Monopoly money of Disney Dining Plan credits, these are the superior option. (Especially with that glorious Mac & Cheese as a side!)
The verdict on the Cedar Plank Salmon with maple-dijon glaze isn’t quite as glowingly positive.
As with the items we reviewed previously, this is something we really wanted to like. In fact, it could’ve been much better on a different day. The glaze was delicious and the cedar plank really enhanced the flavor of the fish, making this so close to greatness. Unfortunately, it was a bit overcooked and dry, and not even the superlative preparation could fully overcome that.
This puts us in an odd spot in terms of a recommendation. If this were properly cooked, we’d be singing its praises, ranking it above the salmon at Wolfgang Puck Express (which we loved). However, that wasn’t the case, and even if it were, this is a small counter service meal for $22. (Of course, if you’re paying with Disney Dining Plan credits, that price is irrelevant.)
On another positive note, both of our sides were fantastic. Sarah ordered the Tomato and Watermelon Salad with feta, basil, and pickled onions. She found it to be refreshing and exceptional, with fresh ingredients that worked really well together.
Going in the opposite direction, I opted for the Mac & Cheese with aged cheddar and breadcrumbs. It’s a simple, heavy, and decadent dish–perfectly executed comfort food. I have had this before and would order it again.
Ultimately, our reactions here more or less mirror those from our first visit, albeit with the Baby Back Ribs being a huge bright spot. It still seems that there are issues with quality control/consistency and portion sizes, especially given the high prices. (For about the same money, we could do larger meals at a handful of table service restaurants around Disney Springs.)
If paying out of pocket, we’ll continue to look elsewhere. While Polite Pig has some really good food, it’s tough to say these meals are worth over $20 each, especially with excellent and cheaper alternatives at Disney Springs and throughout Walt Disney World–or even on Polite Pig’s own menu.
With all of that said, we enjoyed our most recent meal at Polite Pig, enough that we’d absolutely return again in the future…if we’re on the Disney Dining Plan. For us, Wolfgang Puck Express still has it beat in terms of overall quality, but Polite Pig is a close #2 in terms of counter service credit uses. Even if Polite Pig does remain a bit of a gamble, the upside is too difficult to ignore–we’ll take the risk given the potential rewards!
Have you dined at the Polite Pig? What did you think of your meal? Agree or disagree with our assessment? Even if you weren’t 100% satisfied with your meal, do you think Polite Pig is worth the gamble on the Disney Dining Plan? Any questions? Hearing your feedback about your experiences is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts or questions below in the comments!