Most of us love anything to do with Brazil: steakhouses, soccer, Havaianas, bikini waxes, the majority of the Victoria's Secret models -- the list goes on and on.
What many of us are less familiar with is Brazilian food. Sure, we've been to steakhouses, but it's hard to go for rodizio often -- the fixed price, all-you-can-eat service pains the stomach and the wallet.
This weekend Giraffas Brazilian Steaks & Burgers is opening its doors in Cypress Creek. It's bringing healthy fast-casual fare to the area with a 50 percent off special on Saturday and Sunday.
To kick-off the opening, the store is offering 50 percent off entrees as well as family friendly activities on Friday and Saturday.
While most stateside Brazilian restaurants offer rodizio that'll give you a definite case of the meat sweats for the rest of the evening, Giraffas focuses on flavorful portion controlled dishes at affordable price-points.
"The whole idea stresses health and portion control," says Giraffas PR rep Sophie Latish. "With all the different kinds of meat, poultry, and seafood they serve it's not a typical meal where you feel like you're eating for five people."
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; Galo de Briga ($8.90) chicken breast filet with cheese, bacon, egg, lettuce, tomato, and mayo; and customizable options.
Starting at $8.30 with 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, chose from fries or salad; free toppings like lettuce, tomato, and onions; two premium toppings like bacon, ham, and gouda cheese; and a sauce, such as mayo, chipotle, and Giraffas sauce.
"Grills" range from $9.90 for items like tilapia, pork ribeye, and chicken to $15.90 for salmon. Each is cooked to the desired temperature and is served with a choice of chimmichurri, black pepper, maitre d'butter, and Brazilian vinaigrette, as well as three sides, such as Brazilian farofa, seasoned toasted manioc flour, eggs, bacon, onions and parsley; black-eyed peas; grilled veggies; and mashed potatoes.
Served with white rice and a side of fries, Brazilian stroganoffs come with chicken filet tips ($9.40), shrimp ($12.40), and filet mignon tips ($12.40).
The lightest options come from the salad portion of the menu. Quinoa is included in most of the selections with items like quinoa and greens ($9.90) and quinoa, steak, 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.
The fast-casual concept is the fourth largest Brazilian chain with more than 400 locations in South America and seven in Florida, one of which is located in Pompano Beach.
Already the chain is planning to open eight to ten locations in Florida and the southern US in 2014, with plans open 35 across the country by 2018.
Giraffas is located at 6300 N. Andrews Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. Visit giraffas.com.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.
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