Aug 092017

Husband and wife chefs James and Julie Petrakis, who have won wide acclaim for their Central Florida restaurants Cask & Larder and The Ravenous Pig, have expanded their Swine Family Restaurant Group to Disney Springs with a new fast-casual concept, The Polite Pig. Partnering with the James Beard Foundation-nominated chefs is Brian Petrakis, who owns the popular Orlando eatery Greens & Grille. The partnership unites the Petrakis brothers on a restaurant venture for the first time.

Operating with a culinary philosophy similar to its sister Swine Family restaurants, The Polite Pig serves dishes made using sustainable and local ingredients. Some of the signature dishes include House-Smoked Chicken, Brisket, Pork Shoulder and St. Louis Ribs, as well as BBQ Cauliflower on the sides menu. Here’s what we’d recommend trying during your visit!

  • Brisket Sandwich with pimento cheese, lil john’s BBQ, pickled jalapeños and crispy onions. YUM! I could try to explain more, but I’ll let the ingredient lineup speak for itself in this case. We reluctantly ordered the BBQ cauliflower for our side (at the enthusiastic urging of our awesome server) but were thrilled with the accompaniment! Who knew this white, typically bland, veggie could hold so much flavor and fun?

unnamed (1)

  • Baby Back Ribs with a signature rub and a side of savory cheese grits with collard greens and bacon black-eyed pea potlicker. We promptly polished off the whole rack and almost inhaled the grits. I’m usually a traditionalist when it comes to my grits, as in don’t add anything but cheese and maybe a dash of hot sauce, but the additions to this side dish totally worked. Even our Mississippi-native server is a fan of these grits, and you know how serious southerners are about their grits! Bottom line, order both of these items during your visit to The Polite Pig.

unnamed (2)

  • Desserts are kept simple with two choices, Orange Blossom Honey Cake or Double Layer Chocolate Cake. You’re at Disney so dessert is not optional, just order both and share among your table for a sweet ending.

unnamed (3)

  • I don’t do bourbon (or beer), but am always ready for wine. They have three wines on tap which means they are consistently served at the perfect temperature. Since it’s ONE BILLION DEGREES outside order a glass of the French rosé. Plus, ordering wine from a keg is trendy and cool.


Longtime Swine Family chef Allison Weldon leads The Polite Pig kitchen and serves as the restaurant’s executive chef. Most recently, Weldon was part of the Cask & Larder transition team to the Orlando International Airport. She began her career as a line cook at The Ravenous Pig and in 2013 was named a regional winner in the national “2013 Best Young Chef” competition sponsored by the Confrérié de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.

The Polite Pig will also features beers and cocktails on tap. Cask & Larder Brewery will brew several of their signature beers for The Polite Pig including its Lone Palm Golden Ale, 5 Points IPA, Red Drum Ale and Working Man Porter. On tap cocktails include Gin & Tonic, Vodka Lemonade, Rum & Coke, Tequila & Grapefruit and an Old-Fashioned. Bourbon enthusiasts will also enjoy the “Bourbon Bar” with more than 60 varieties of whiskey including Florida’s largest collection of Pappy Van Winkle whiskeys.

The Polite Pig is located in Disney Springs’ Town Center neighborhood. The 5,000-square-foot venue is open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., with seating for about 200 guests.

The Polite Pig Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

May 292017

Occasionally we discover hidden gems, restaurants we know are bound to find great success, but are still a bit under the radar. Eleven, a modern steakhouse, perched atop the 11-story Reunion Resort in Kissimmee has garnered praise from the likes of Orlando Magazine and Trip Advisor and is a destination that’s worth the trip down I-4.

Under the guise of Eleven’s newly appointed chef, Jacob “Jake” Brenchley, this sky-high restaurant has debuted a re-imagined yet approachable menu. It’s quite refreshing to meet a passionate and talented chef that pours his skills and soul into each dish. Fluent in French, Chef Jake received a culinary arts degree while studying at École des Beaux Arts in Annecy, France and continued his education at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Orlando. No stranger to public accolades, Jake has been featured on the table at the James Beard House and in the pages of Food and Wine, Sommelier Journal and USA Today.

His re-crafted menu showcases a bevy of interesting fare with 11 highlighted ingredients and a signature 11 spice blend – which we took home and have since enjoyed on everything from chicken to popcorn. Eleven’s new menu will keep your taste buds engaged from the seasonal butter to start to the whipped brie cheese for dessert. Between the unobstructed views of South Orlando and the memorable cuisine, here’s why you should trek out to Eleven this summer.

  • Three Words….Meyer Lemon Butter. While the butter to accompany the bread service will change based on what’s in the kitchen and in season, this carb accompaniment became a standout of our experience. Have you ever heard of a chef that changes the BUTTER based on the season? This level of detail is why this spot shines.

eleven reunion resort

  • Served warm in a mini Staub tray, your meal will start with a new take on the traditional Parker House rolls. While you’ll be tempted to ask for a second helping, make sure you save room for your actual meal.
  • Have you ever started a meal with sorbet? Chef Jake isn’t afraid to pull out sous-vide lobster and shrimp alongside a mango and turmeric sorbet. A vibrant dish that engaged all the culinary senses.

eleven reunion resort

  • Eleven is a short drive from the theme parks, so when you’ve had your fill of Fantasy Land, Reunion Resort awaits. Bonus points to the restaurant for firework views at night!
  • From family reunions (pun intended) to date nights and drinks after a day on the golf course, this spot is suited to meet a wide range of dining occasions.

eleven reunion resort

  • We found a filet on the menu that was served over a bed of five cheese mac and cheese and then topped with a pomegranate glaze. Why have steak and potatoes when there’s meat and mac? A fun twist on a classic.

eleven reunion resort

  • Rarely can a kitchen turn out equally exceptional steaks and seafood. Their grouper with Anson Mills grits and asparagus, not only looks pretty but delivered on all the flavor you’d expect.

eleven reunion resort

  • After the sorbet, seasonal butter and decadent entrees you’ll be tempted to skip dessert. Don’t. Ask for the sweet and savory bread pudding with whipped Brie and bourbon glaze.

eleven reunion resort

Just 15 minutes from the Magic Kingdom, Reunion Resort is located at 7593 Gathering Dr., Kissimmee, FL 34747. For more information or to make a reservation at Eleven Restaurant, visit or call (407) 662-1000. Tell Chef Jake we sent ya!

Eleven Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato