Copyright Sonny's BBQ.
Now, I have to warn you: My husband hates this place. He'll go there, but it's always with a bit of resignation. Don't worry though. It's not the food, it's him. You'll like it just fine. Most Sonny's chains, while not fancy, are reliably clean with big picnic-style tables and booths. They also usually have a drive-thru, for those late-night, covert BBQ runs where you sneak off property in your rental car. Hey, everyone has their vices, mine just happens to involve smoked meat.
Sonny's serves what some call "Florida" style barbeque although I can't really tell the difference between that and Memphis style. Their main sauce isn't a sweet Memphis style sauce, but it's thick and has a tomato (ketchup) base and a vingary tang. They also have hot and sweet sauces. Basically, they have everything the BBQ afficionado needs (unless you happen to be one of those people who like Eastern Carolina BBQ, and then you're out of luck). You can choose from smoked turkey, brisket, pork (pulled and otherwise), chicken, and ribs. Sides include Texas toast, macaroni and cheese, fried okra, potato salad, baked beans, and Brunswick Stew (not available at all locations), among others. Most locations also have a pretty large salad bar for those who want something on the lighter side.
The great thing about Sonny's is that the quality is the same everywhere, but you never feel like you're eating at a chain. It has a nice Mom and Pop feel about it. Sides like Macaroni and Cheese and the potato salad are just so-so, but you're there for the BBQ, which is perfectly smokey, juicy and just a little charred. I have eaten at some of the best BBQ places in the country and while I do love Charlie Vergo's and The Pit in Raleigh, I think Sonny's holds its own as a great place to sate your BBQ cravings at prices that are well below what you would spend for a meal on property.
The closest Sonny's to Disney property are on the Orange Blossom Trail or in St. Cloud . They're both a bit of a haul, so you might just want to consider it a field trip. If you pulled your kid out of school, tell your his teacher that it's an educaitonal experience and have it count toward their homework requirement for the week: He's seeing how Floridians live outside of the confines of Walt Disney World. You can check out all the locations and the official website here.