10 May 2017

No Shame in Seconds

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure to sit down to a meal with at The Polite Pig. The restaurant is new to Disney Springs and features a model of dining that is being seen more and more throughout Walt Disney World, the fast casual format features a queue for ordering and payment, and then your food is brought to you by roaming servers who are there to help you take care of any additional needs (including more food) as you dine. It’s something a little different, and will take a little getting used to, but it is a fine way to dine. But let’s get down to the food shall we?

For my first bite from The Polite Pig I opted for a style of barbecue I know well from living in western North Carolina for more than the past dozen years, the Pork Shoulder. I will confess that to my mind, this meant pulled or chopped barbecue pork, and that is not what I received, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it was a bad thing. With the Pork Shoulder you are given large chunks of barbecued pork that have been prepared with Polite Rub. Each serving comes with one side, a roll, and small jar of coleslaw. The pork itself is tender and pulls apart easily. There are two byproducts of the pork’s presentation; on the negative side of things you get a lot more fat with your meat than you would expect, but on the positive side, you get way more of the delicious bark with that seasoned rub!

My original plan was to try all seven of their sauces on my pork to get a good sample of what The Polite Pig is offering as accompaniments, but that ended up being a little harder than I had planned. So, I settled for three options: Hot Honey, Spiced Vinegar, and Thomas’s Southern Gold.  The Spiced Vinegar, or any type of vinegar sauce, is a staple of Carolina barbecue and I had to give it a try. Listed as a vinegar-based mopping sauce, in other words you drag your pork or meat through it to sop it up, it did not disappoint and brought with it a nice arrangement of spices, the tangy twinge of the vinegar, and highlighted what was already present in the rub. Meanwhile, the mustard and vinegar-based Thomas’s Southern Gold, just didn’t hit me as well as the Spiced Vinegar. I’m usually all about mustard sauces, but this seemed a bit thin to me and didn’t carry itself as well as I had hoped. As for the Hot Honey, this mixture of their homemade Fresno Hot Sauce with Orange Blossom Honey, was spot on! A little heat, a little sweet, and wholly delicious! By default then, I can also recommend the Fresno Hot Sauce, which isn’t overpowering, but the peppers are bright and flavorful.

For my one market side I opted for the BBQ Cauliflower, which comes with paprika sour cream and pumpkin seeds. The cauliflower is one of the options listed for those seeking a vegetarian option, to the point where it even has a sauce specially recommended for it, and I would jump on that in a heartbeat. The pumpkin seeds give the dish a nice crunch, while the paprika sour cream adds a richness to each bite. The char on the cauliflower is good, not overly burnt, and each floret is tender, but still takes some effort to bite through. I’ll be honest, this was the highlight of my meal, and there were times that the flavors from the cauliflower and sour cream that the texture didn’t line up, but my mouth swore I was eating a roasted marshmallow. The bread and slaw are both standard barbecue trappings, and both were well-done here, but they were nothing particularly special to write home about. Not like the cauliflower!

The Polite Pig is something new in the form of barbecue and novel in dining in Walt Disney World. This was our first bite, and it was overall a delicious one, but we have more to come from this meal, so stay tuned! In the meantime, you should make your way over to The Polite Pig and see what they have to offer. The menu is wide ranging, from their snacks, to the cocktails, entrees, market sides, and desserts, and there seems to be something for just about every palate, even those who prefer not to partake in meat. For those that do wish to indulge in traditional barbecue, I don't believe you will be disappointed.

No comments: