Last night, we had dinner at Giraffas Brazilian Kitchen & Grill in Mills Park on North Mills Avenue. Giraffas also has a restaurant on International Drive, and locations throughout Florida.
Giraffas is a fast-casual restaurant that features Brazilian cuisine with a touch of American favorites. The employee I spoke to told me that all of their salads, and everything from the grill was gluten free. The only food item she mentioned having gluten were the buns for the burgers, but I did not ask about desserts.
We started our meal at Giraffas with pao de queijos - warm Brazilian cheese bread made with tapioca flour. They come in orders of two for $1. My whole family enjoyed them, and they reminded me of Brazi Bites.
We ordered four entrees from the grill, which all came with a sauce and three sides. My favorite was the picanha, a top sirloin cap steak with a thin layer of fat down the side to add extra juiciness. The steak was tender, and so delicious dipped in chimichurri sauce. The portion was large, with two pieces of steak, making it easy for my husband and I to share. For sides, I chose grilled vegetables, mashed potatoes, and brown rice. I loved the grilled vegetables with the exception of the onion, which was too strong. I enjoyed my brown rice with a little chimichurri sauce on top, but thought the mashed potatoes were a little odd tasting. They weren't bad, but I wouldn't order them again. My girls ate the mashed potatoes I left in my bowl, and thought they were good.
My husband and I also shared a salmon filet with a side of garlic butter. I thought the salmon was prepared well, and I loved the garlic butter with fresh herbs and lime. My husband enjoyed all of his sides - grilled veggies, black-eyed peas (chilled black-eyed peas & cilantro salad), and farofa (toasted manioc flour with scrambled egg, bacon, sauteed onions, green olives & parsley).
My daughters shared an order of chicken breast filet with black beans simmered in sauteed garlic and bacon, and a double side of white rice. I tasted their chicken, which was perfectly cooked, and really delicious dipped in garlic butter.
Nina, our international student, loved her meal of baby back ribs with sides of black beans, mashed potatoes, and grilled vegetables.
Everyone enjoyed their meals so much, we would definitely go back to Giraffas. The only thing that makes me a little uncomfortable is that they don't have nutritional information on their website or have a gluten free menu. I did exchange some tweets with Giraffas about gluten free options, and the employee I spoke to, who I assume was their manager, was super knowledgeable.
You can view Giraffas menu on their website here.
What are your favorite gluten free menu items at Giraffas?