Giraffas Brazilian Kitchen and Grill Opening in Downtown Fort Lauderdale

Much of the world is quickly beginning to eschew fast food. Between the ridiculous calorie counts, lack of flavor, pink slime, animal cruelty issues, and whatever else, many of us are over it.

But we're still busy as hell.

We want healthy food, quickly -- not fast food, if you know what we mean.

Brazilian Kitchen and Grill is opening its newest outpost right next to Victoria Park in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

The fast-casual franchise offers health-conscious fare in a hurry.

See Also: Giraffas Brings Quick, Healthy Brazilian Fare to Fort Lauderdale

Scheduled to open sometime in May, the restaurant will offer locals flavorful Brazilian portion-controlled dishes at affordable price points.

"Our goal is to make Brazilian food a desired taste in America," says U.S. marketing director Maria Huertas. "We start with high-end fresh product and handcraft our dishes with our Brazilian spices, being careful to enhance the original food flavors and not modify them. This is the essence of Brazilian cooking philosophy."

The menu offers a selection of appetizers, burgers, grills, stroganoffs, and South American-style salads.

Burgers are available in Brazilian Classic with options like Giraffão ($12.30) a filet mignon steak sandwich with cheese, bacon, egg, lettuce, tomato, and mayo. The Galo de Briga includes ($8.90) chicken breast fillet with cheese, bacon, egg, lettuce, tomato, and mayo.

Customizable options with choice of toppings, bun, and sauce are also offered. Starting at $8.30 with a five-ounce single picanha burger -- a Brazilian cut from the rump steak -- and moving up to $12.50 for the 3.5-ounce filet sandwich, choose from fries or salad and accoutrements. Each selection includes two free toppings (basics like lettuce, tomato, and onions); two premium toppings (such as bacon, ham, and Gouda cheese); and a sauce (including mayo, chipotle, and Giraffas sauce).

"Grills" range from $9.90 for items like tilapia, pork rib eye, and chicken to $15.90 for salmon. Steak is cooked to the desired temperature -- fish and chicken are cooked through, obviously. Each is served with a choice of chimichurri, black pepper, maitre d'butter, and Brazilian vinaigrette. Three sides are included, such as Brazilian farofa (seasoned toasted manioc flour, eggs, bacon, onions, and parsley), black-eyed peas, grilled veggies, and mashed potatoes.

Brazilian stroganoffs are available with chicken fillet tips ($9.40), shrimp ($12.40), and filet mignon tips ($12.40). They're served with white rice and a side of fries.

The lightest options come from the salad portion of the menu. Quinoa, the Andean super grain, is included in most of the selections with items like quinoa and greens ($9.90) and quinoa, steak, and greens ($13.90).

The Brazilian Black-Eyed Peas & Chicken ($9.40) with grilled chicken breast sliced over greens and Brazilian black-eyed peas, onions, green and red pepper, mango, and chili sauce is the only salad option that excludes the South American grain.

Giraffas is the fourth-largest Brazilian chain with more than 400 locations in South America and eight in Florida, with locations in Pompano Beach, Coral Springs, and Coconut Creek.

The first U.S. location was opened in South Florida in 2012. The chain plans to open 35 restaurants across the country by 2018.

Giraffas Brazilian Kitchen and Grill is located at 424 N. Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale. Visit giraffas.com/locations.

Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.

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