Full Review: The Polite Pig at Disney Springs

We live somewhat locally to the Walt Disney World resort area (well, locally enough that we can drive).  I believe I’ve said this before, but on our final day we like to visit Disney Springs to do any last minute shopping, grab lunch, go for a walk, and buy some Sprinkles Cupcakes to home (thus preserving some of our vacation for longer).  We were recently in Orlando for MegaCon, which will be featured in an upcoming post, and made our way over to Disney for a few days as well.  On our way out, we stopped at The Polite Pig for lunch, which is a “modern BBQ outpost with Florida cuisine and an array of libations on tap,” according to disneyworld.disney.go.com.

It is actually a quick service BBQ restaurant that has a full bar (indoor and outdoor), with indoor and outdoor seating.  You place your order at the counter, they give you a pager, you go find a seat and they bring you your food at the table.  While we were there they also came around with samples of blondies and oatmeal cookies which were pretty great, although not great enough to make us actually purchase one.

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Menu behind the counter at the Polite Pig – it was actually this hard to see in real-life, but there were paper menus available for the visually challenged
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Sauce bar at the Polite Pig

Because it was lunchtime, we decided to split a few things instead of ordering our own individual meals.  The menu isn’t too extensive, but has some great options on it.  We ordered the pork shoulder ($14), the mac and cheese ($6), and the hop salt pretzel ($10).  I found the menu to be pricy as the sides are à la carte, but since we were splitting all of this it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, and trust me this was plenty of food.  We also didn’t have any alcoholic beverages on this trip (again, lunch, and we needed to drive home), which kept the cost down.

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Pork shoulder, pretzels, beer cheese fondue (top left), IPA mustard (hard to see in the middle).
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Better view of the beer cheese fondue and IPA mustard, plus some of the sauces from the sauce bar.  I’m not positive what these were, I found them un-remarkable.
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Better view of the mac and cheese and one of the pretzels.

The Polite Pig actually doesn’t get great reviews on Yelp, although I think most of it is due to the food cost issue.  We actually really enjoyed everything we had, particularly the pork shoulder.  The Polite Pig has a “BBQ sauce” bar (… actually, its just dispensers, like ketchup/mustard dispensers, and paper cups), which has a variety of options you can see on the menu, but we found that the pork shoulder really didn’t need any sauces to make it enjoyable, it was actually very flavorful on its own.  We did dip the pretzel in each one of the sauces, and while good, they were nothing to write home about.  The pretzel itself comes with beer cheese fondue (a HUGE AMOUNT OF IT) and IPA mustard, both of which were incredibly tasty – so much so that I usually couldn’t decide which to dip my pretzel into.  Finally, the mac and cheese was REALLY GOOD GUYS.  Sometimes mac and cheese can be kinda flavorless, but I really enjoyed it.

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A very tilted picture of the Polite Pig interior.
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Outdoor bar seating at the Polite Pig

Lets talk about seating.  There is indoor and outdoor seating, and its a pretty big place, we didn’t have to wait long to find a table.  They seemed right on top of cleaning off the tables as soon as one party was done, so even though we had a minute of “table-hovering,” we still sat down at a clean table.  There is also a lot of bar seating available, or I suppose you could get your food to-go and sit somewhere outside at Disney Springs.  The only thing I’ll mention about this is the day we were there was really hot (around 95 degrees), and while there were still people sitting in the “patio” area as it was partially shaded, I don’t think this would be the best place to sit in the middle of August, which would cut out some of the seating options.

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Taps at the bar
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Taps behind the counter where you order food

I’ll also say that while we didn’t partake, the bar options certainly looked intriguing.  I don’t really like bourbon, but there is a bourbon bar with options ranging from $9 to $99.  I suppose if I liked bourbon this would entertain me more.  There are also a variety of beers (I really like Florida Cracker from Cigar City, you should give it a try if you can find it in your area or if you happen to go somewhere that has it), and cocktails on tap.  Again, you can see all of these options on their menu.

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Polite Pig Merchandise!

So Drinking Ever After, what are your thoughts on the The Polite Pig in Disney Springs?

Well, I liked the Polite Pig. I thought it was a good option for lunch and we definitely got plenty of food, despite not ordering our own meals. We actually brought one of the pretzels home because it was too much (and BBQ is really heavy). I do think its pretty expensive given that you need to order the sides separately, but I would go back, possibly sit at the bar, and try some of the beers or cocktails.

And yeah, on a slightly unrelated note, if you can find Cigar City beers anywhere, definitely give them a try.

Drinkin’ Around Disney Resorts: Crockett’s Tavern at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

Disney’s Fort Wilderness has 2 options for guests, a campground and cabins for rent.  This could be a very cost effective option for those of you who are looking to spend a little less on your lodging.

Its very easy to get to Fort Wilderness from Magic Kingdom, among other options, you can hop on a boat that will take you right there.

Fort Wilderness is a very cool resort to visit if you get the chance.  There are a ton of recreation options such as archery, pony, wagon, and carriage rides, boat rentals, fishing, canoe rentals, bike rentals, and the Wilderness Back Trail adventure which takes you through the resort on a segway.   And the resort is on about 750 acres of cypress and pine forest, so there is a ton of animal life to see.  We’ve seen a lot of deer!

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Sunset at Disney’s Fort Wilderness

Its also pretty if you go there near sunset.

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Davy, Davy Crockett! … Oh wait thats from Hoop Dee Do.  

And, if you’re looking for some adult refreshments, Crockett’s Tavern is the place to be.  While there is a walkup window where you can get to-go beer and wine, there is also a small bar inside that serves some appetizers and the standard Disney drink menu.

When we were there they also had some specialty drinks made with Ole Smoky Moonshine – very fitting for the atmosphere.

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Strawberry Lemonade made with Ole Smoky Strawberry Moonshine.

We tried the Strawberry Lemonade made with Ole Smoky Strawberry Moonshine, Odwalla Lemonade, Wild Strawberry Monin, and Sprite.  It is very appropriately served in a mason jar.  I was a little afraid to try this because I’ve never had Ole Smoky Moonshine, but it just tasted like alcoholic strawberry lemonade.  I do recommend the drink though, it was pretty good.  I wish I had tried some of the other options!

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With a full bar and some snack options, Crockett’s Tavern is a nice spot to sit if you’re staying at Fort Wilderness, waiting to go to Trails End or Hoop Dee Do Musical Review, or just want to see the resort.

So Drinking Ever After, what are your thoughts on Crockett’s Tavern?

While I wouldn’t necessarily make a special trip specifically to go there, checking it out should you be staying at Fort Wilderness or visiting is definitely recommended.   And don’t be afraid to try a drink made with moonshine!

Full Review: La Cava del Tequila in the World Showcase at Epcot

This is really more of a snack/drink post, as that is what La Cava del Tequila sells.  Located in the Mexico Pavilion in the World Showcase at Epcot, La Cava del Tequila is a must try.

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Pyramid in the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot – There are entrances to the left and right.

Depending on your Epcot strategy, you can walk from the front gate of Epcot to the gigantic lake, and take either a right or left into the World Showcase.  If you take a left, you walk into the Mexico Pavilion.  If you take a right, you’ll hit the Canada Pavilion first.  While the Canada Pavilion does have a kiosk serving one of the best rated beers in the world according to Beer Advocate, La Fin du Monde by Unibroue, I recommend going left to Mexico and ending at Canada.  This is partially because the Canada Pavilion is otherwise boring, with the exception of the 360 video featuring Canada’s own Martin Short. If you’re into Martin Short, thats fun…?

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Martin Short is everywhere – O Canada!

Anyway.

Once you take the recommended left hand turn into the World Showcase, you’re greeted with the gigantic mesoamerican pyramid that is the main focus of the area.  The Mexico Pavilion actually has a huge amount of food and drink choices.  Outside the pyramid there is La Cantina de San Angel, a quick-service spot right on the water with tacos, nachos, etc.  We’ve gotten nachos from here before and while they are definitely gigantic, I didn’t think they were anything to write home about.  They were the type with liquid cheese, canned jalapeños, etc.  There is also a sit-down restaurant outside the pyramid, La Hacienda de San Angel, which we have always wanted to try but never have because we always end up at La Cava del Tequila.  Inside the pyramid, there is another sit-down restaurant, The San Angel Inn, that overlooks the Gran Fiesta Tour (or the Mexico boat ride as most people call it).  If you’re there during the Food and Wine Festival, that means you get to sit and eat your lunch or dinner while watching drunken adults get really overly excited on the boat ride.  They will probably wave.  Excitedly.

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Sign for La Cava del Tequila

The final food/drink option is La Cava del Tequila, located inside the pyramid on your right as you come in.  You’ll know you found it due to the giant line of people standing outside.  These people are waiting for drinks to go.  Skip all of them and walk up to the host or hostess and ask for a table.  If there are two of you, you’ll probably get in and sit faster than all those people waiting in line.  I’ve seen parties of 8 get seated in 20 minutes during the Food and Wine Festival when there was a line of at least 50 people reaching outside the pyramid.

 

La Cava del Tequila sells, obviously, a lot of different tequilas.  They also have margaritas. What most people don’t know is that they also serve some food options to go with your tequila-based beverage of choice.

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Behind the bar at Cava del Tequila

We have sampled two margaritas.  The Passion Fruit (tequila, ginger liqueur, passion fruit, mango nectar, fresh lime juice, topped with mango foam, served on the rocks with a Tajín chili powder rim) and the Hibiscus (tequila, hibiscus juice, fresh lemon juice, agave nectar, elderflower liquor and pomegranate liquor served on the rocks with a hibiscus salt rim).

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Hibiscus margarita at La Cava del Tequila – $14.75

I’m going to be honest.  I hate tequila.  I had a very bad and also incredibly stereotypical experience in college with a bottle of Jose Cuervo where two friends of mine and I drunkenly yelled “YOU’RE AWESOME” “NO, YOU’RE AWESOME-ER” for 20 minutes before all simultaneously puking from said tequila.  Regardless of this ridiculous memory,  I love the Hibiscus Margarita.  Mainly, because you cant taste the tequila, and the flavors work really well together between the bitterness of the tequila and the sweetness/tartness of the hibiscus and pomegranate.  The only thing that I prefer about the Passion Fruit Margarita is the chili powder rim.

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Queso blanco from La Cava del Tequila.  Comes with chips, queso, and 2 cups of salsa.  $9.00

You should also definitely get the queso blanco (warm white nacho cheese with pico de gallo sauce and tortilla chips).  You’re going to be super tempted to get the trio (tortilla chips served with salsa, queso, and guacamole).  But, know that the queso blanco actually comes with salsa as well.  The only thing you’re going to miss is the guacamole, and you probably wont miss it that much.  This is seriously a GIANT AMOUNT of chips, salsa, and queso.  Guys, this is the perfect compliment to that margarita you’re drinking. Its amazing.  Just trust me.

So Drinking Ever After, what are your thoughts on La Cava del Tequila in the World Showcase at Epcot?

Go.  Seriously.  Just go.  Sit inside, skip the line of people waiting for margaritas to go.  You’ll have a much better time and its a nice break from the sun and the people.  I will say its usually full of adults and couples, I’m assuming that kids are not a fan of sitting in what is essentially a tequila cave watching their parents drink a margarita.  So, if you are an adult or couple, DEFINITELY go.

Try This!: Moscow Mules at Walt Disney World

You might think this is an odd topic for a post.   I disagree (obviously, because I’m writing it), because I drink so many Moscow Mules I consider myself a “connoisseur” of them.   Seriously.

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Moscow Mule on the WDW Drink Menu

The first time I had a Moscow Mule I was browsing the standard drink menu at Disney, lamenting the loss of my most beloved drink, the Citrus Infusion (you can find the recipe here, but its never the same when I make it at home).  I wasn’t seeing anything that jumped out at me.  The best bartender in all of Walt Disney World, Walter, who works at Tambu Lounge, suggested the mule.  I thought, “well this one has a cool cup” and ordered it.

That was the beginning of my love affair with the Moscow Mule.

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Moscow Mule from Tambu Lounge at the Polynesian

For those of you who have never had one, its a pretty standard drink.  Vodka (I prefer Tito’s, sometimes then called an “American Mule”, but you may have another favorite), ginger beer (I prefer Goslings, but also like Fever Tree), and lime.  Its light, refreshing, and it comes in a copper cup which makes it seem fancy.

I’ve had Moscow Mules all across Disney property, and my favorite pour is at Tambu Lounge at the Polynesian.  Its really just proportions of vodka/lime/ginger beer, but they get them perfect.

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Moscow Mule from the Boathouse at Disney Springs

You might think that its an easy drink to make.  But, despite having one of the better Moscow Mules I’ve had at Tambu Lounge, there is one Disney restaurant that made the worst Moscow Mule I have ever had.  And I don’t say that lightly.  I’ve ordered them everywhere in the US from Florida to Seattle, and I’ve had good ones and bad ones, and this one was objectively the worst.

So, what Disney restaurant is the culprit?  The Boathouse at Disney Springs.  For somewhere so expensive and classy that boasts the drink on their menu, it was SO. BAD.  Way too much lime, an inexplicably large amount of ice, and flat ginger beer.  They use Stoli, and I generally do like Stoli, but it didn’t work with the flavor of the ginger beer.

So, Drinking Ever After, what is the moral of the story?

If you’re looking for a light and refreshing drink, go with the Moscow Mule.  Just, don’t get it from the Boathouse.  Especially if its your first one, it will just tarnish the experience for you.

And, just for good measure because its my favorite drink, I’ve had some kick ass versions of the drink that you should try if you’re ever in any of these locations:

Wood Pizza New Orleans made the best standard Moscow Mule I’ve ever had (on their menu as an American Mule).

 

Giving points for creativity and their own ginger syrup and charged water, Bar Tonique, also in New Orleans, is an all around amazing bar that serves a great drink.

Another with points for creativity is Copper 29 Bar in Coral Gables, FL.

Try one the next time you go out!  Hopefully, you wont be disappointed.

 

Disney Full Review: Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar at Disney Springs

Jock Lindsey’s Hanger Bar is our absolute favorite place to grab a drink at Disney Springs.  Our new-ish, since Hanger Bar is somewhat new, first day tradition is to head to Disney Springs, get a drink (or two…) and a snack at Hangar Bar, and then go to Epcot for Illuminations.   We usually try to go at least twice when we’re there.

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Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar at Disney Springs

Boasting a creative drink menu, light snacks, and an amazing atmosphere, particularly if you like Indiana Jones, it is a spot I dont recommend missing.  The interior is a 1940’s airplane hangar, and as the story goes, it was built by Jock Lindsay (you may remember him from Raiders of the Lost Ark) and became a popular watering hole for travelers.  The exterior overlooks the lake, and if you’re lucky you might see an amphicar launch from The Boathouse next door.  Overall, its a great spot to sit and chill.  All seating is first come first serve, and we typically did not find it busy, but we usually go at off peak times.

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Hangar Bar interior (left), and exterior (right).  There are plenty of cool details to look at inside and outside, be sure to check them out!

We have sampled quite a few of the drinks on the menu.  Here they are with my rating (out of 5), and a comment.  I’ve combined some pictures to save a little space.

Bedtime Story  – Absolut Mandrin Vodka, Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur, Hibiscus Syrup, fresh Lemon Juice, and Iced Tea.  My Rating:  3.5/5.  This is a perfectly acceptable drink, its not very sweet and its pretty refreshing.  However, I don’t think its anything particularly amazing to write home about. I will say that my fiancé likes this drink more than me and rates it a 4/5.  The standout is the candied hibiscus flower on top.  Its edible, and amazing.  I’ve contemplated asking for a few of them in a to-go box to snack on.  But decided that would be weird.  Maybe not, I’m undecided.

Safari Sangria – South African Red Wine with Van Der Rum Tangerine Liqueur.  My Rating:  3/5.  I wasn’t a huge fan of this, I thought the tangerine liqueur would give it a little something extra but it just tasted like red wine to me.  That might be how you like your sangria though.

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Hangar Bar Bedtime Story and Safari Sangria. You can also see the custom coasters from bars and clubs in the Indiana Jones universe.

Bam’s Barnstormer – Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, Fever-Tree Ginger Beer, and fresh Lime Juice.  My Rating:  3.5/5.  This is really just a Dark and Stormy, but this doesn’t disappoint. The bartenders at Hangar Bar can mix a mean drink, even the “classics.” However, there are more exciting drinks on the menu.  This one is not pictured.

Air Pirate’s Mule – Knob Creek Disney Select Single Barrel Reserve Bourbon and fresh Lime Juice topped with Fever-Tree Ginger Beer.  My fiancé’s rating, because honestly I hate bourbon:  3.5/5.  His comment is “it was good, if you like bourbon.”  So, there you go.

Reggie’s Revenge – Florida Cane ‘Orlando Orange’ Vodka, Midori Melon Liqueur, White Cranberry Juice, and fresh Lime Juice.  My Rating: 4.5/5.  This was my favorite drink, until I had the Cool Headed Monkey.  Generally I really like drinks that are green for some reason, but this one is very refreshing, and a little tangy from the cranberry and lime juice.  This is one of the more popular drinks on the menu, I recommend giving it a try!

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Hangar Bar Air Pilots Mule (on the left), and Reggie’s Revenge (on the right).  You can buy the cup for Reggie’s Revenge if you’d like a souvenir (and its glass as opposed to plastic, as so many souvenir cups tend to be).

Cool Headed Monkey – Starr African Rum, Van Der Hum Tangerine Liqueur, fresh Lime Juice, Watermelon, and Pineapple Juice.  My Rating: 4.75/5.  I was nervous about this because there are so many flavors going on, but I have to say this is my favorite out of all the drinks I’ve tried.  Its sweet, kind of like fruit punch (well, I guess its rum punch), but awesome.  And dangerous, I couldn’t taste the alcohol in this.

Aviator’s Flight – ¾-oz pour of each Single Malt Scotch Whisky – The Macallan 12 yr Speyside, Highland Park 12 yr Orkney Islands, and Bowmore 12 yr Islay.  I’m not going to rate this because its just 3 3/4 oz pours, which is pretty hard to mess up.  The way that its presented is pretty cool, you get the drinks on a wooden propeller.

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The Cool Headed Monkey and Aviator’s Flight.  That’s me taking a picture of my drink in the background.  You can buy the Cool Headed Monkey cup as well.
And now for the food!  We have sampled a bit less of the food, and the menu recently went through an overhaul.  The new one is still good and kept the favorites.  They also have a Holiday Menu which has dishes inspired by the most recent Holiday (Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc.), and a happy hour menu with some food options.  You can see the full menu here.

Air Pirates Pretzels – A flight of Everything Pretzels with spicy German Mustard and Beer Cheese Fondue.  My Rating: 4.75/5.  Pretzels go well with drinking, so I may be biased, but the sauces, particularly the spicy german mustard, really make these amazing.  Its a pretty big portion, and comes with plenty of dipping sauce.  And I love the presentation!  Just wait until they bring it to your table in a more grown up version of the “airplane” game (but don’t worry, they don’t try to feed you).

Rolling Boulders Sliders – Three-Runaway Brisket Meatballs with Tomato-Bacon Jam, House-made Pickles, Shredded Lettuce, and Tomato.  My (snarky) Rating: 3/5.  Okay, I really loved these before the menu overhaul.  They used to have tzatziki on them, and you should know by now how much I love tzatziki.  These are still good, but I miss the other ones.  Really, they probably deserve at least a 4/5, but man do I miss that tzatziki…

Junior’s Fedora Flatbread – A hit at the Jones’ holiday gatherings! Toasted Flatbread layered with Slow-roasted Turkey, Cranberry-Onion Jam, Butternut Squash, crisped Greens, Chèvre, and Candied Pecans finished with a splash of Sage Oil.  My Rating:  2.5/5.  So, I had this during Thanksgiving and it had a different name, it was called “Thanksgiving” something or other.  I think they changed the name and description to a more generic “holiday” theme.  Regardless, this was okay.  There is a lot going on with it, and its really just deli turkey and a bunch of toppings on a flatbread.  I wasn’t that impressed.  Get the pretzels or sliders instead.

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Rolling Boulder Sliders, Fedora Flatbread and Air Pirates Pretzels.

So, Drinking Ever After, what are your thoughts on Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar?

Well, clearly we have visited Jock Lindsay’s Hangar Bar quite a bit.  We think its great!  Definitely check it out when you’re in Disney Springs.  Get a drink, get the pretzels, hang out and enjoy the atmosphere, its worth it!