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Last Update: Nov 11th, 2015
Giraffas Fort Lauderdale Closed

Giraffas

420 N Federal Hwy
Fort Lauderdale FL, 33301
954-990-8700
Overall Rating
2.7
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review
06/02/2014

Details

Hours: 11am-10pm
Attire: Casual
Parking: Private Lot
CC: Yes
Alcohol: None
Outside Dining: No
Reservations: No
Delivery: No

Critic's Review

The Giraffas Experiment is almost over. Coral Springs, Pompano Beach and now Fort Lauderdale. Cheap steaks are a no go in the USA. I'm betting the one on Cypress Creek is next at that crazy rent they're paying up there.

Review 6/2/14

Giraffa's Fort Lauderdale

It seems like they've been building this location forever; I went to their Pembroke Pines location about a month after we learned they were opening here, and that was last November. I've since also visited their Andrew's Avenue location over in Cypress Creek, and I've gotten a pretty good idea of what the deal is here.

All of the restaurants are just about exactly the same; they rip out a rectangular storefront and slap up a kitchen in the corner, with a counter, some booths and bench seating with tables for 2 or 4 along both sides of the room. Lime green and orange is the color scheme.

Giraffas freshmarket inside

I planned on getting the "Contra", which they claim is a Brazilian version of a strip steak. They sell cheaper off-cut steaks like cap steaks here; stuff that most people grind or use for stews. Chewy steaks can be good too, and the prices are half what you'd pay for a steak elsewhere.

When I got to the counter, they had a promo for their "Churrasco", which is an undisclosed cut of beef that's apparently cut thin like a skirt steak. It comes with rice, beans and a salad for $6.90; a deal you can't hit with a stick. So I went for that, medium rare, with an iced tea. They have an iced tea machine that has 3 or 4 kinds of iced tea; no fruit or sweeteners are available at the beverage station; one of the penny-pinching annoyances of the place.

You order at the counter and they give you a beeper and a cup and you fetch your silverware and drink and head to the table. I flagged down a server and asked for sweeteners and lemon; she said "We only have lime", but then later returned with some Splenda and told me that they no longer have limes available. Just great.

Giraffas Iced Tea. No Fruit Available.

I forgot to get napkins, so I went back to the station and when I returned my food was already on the table.

Giraffas Churrasco Special

One thing that's consistent in this place is that the plates are too small for what they give you. This is an appetizer plate, and even after removing the bowls and dumping the beans into the rice, it's still a chore to cut the salad and slice the meat without having something slide onto the table.

Giraffas Churrasco Special

The tomatoes were inedible; grape tomatoes are crumby enough without being green and unripe. Rabbit greens are also not my choice for a side salad. The beans were much better than most; they had some seasoning that elevated them above the usual musty offering. The steak was "OK"; tough and chewy with a beefy taste that reminded me of a top sirloin, which is better when cut thicker. The "Brazilian Vinaigrette" isn't as good as chimichurri; the steak was better with just salt and pepper.

Giraffas Churrasco Steak Special

Overall not a bad lunch; under $10 and no tipping. I guess you could leave a tip but zero people came over to check on anything after the steak was delivered so I don't see the need to leave one; this is the same service model as Dairy Queen. I've never seen anyone leave a tip in 3 visits to these places.

Note to management: Iced Tea needs fruit. Charge 10 cents more and buy lemons.

Comment Policy Add Comment
Claudia
Reply
I went to this place whenever I saw a concert at Parker Playhouse and it was great. It had a wide choice of entrees for both me and my clean-eating dates. The hamburgers and other meat entrees were really good. The place was clean and affordable. The layout and atmosphere was a little weird but not bad. It was consistent. Shame. I'll have to find another Pre-Parker Playhouse place.
Tom
Reply
Careful here, something has gone terribly wrong. I quit eating hamburgers about 25 yrs. ago when the taste went away. My wife still eats them regularly and always gets them the same way - rare. We went to the location that used to be on Federal Hwy. in Ft.Lauderdale and she said I should try a bite. Holy moly! I couldn't believe how good it was. Thinking this might just be a fluke we went back about a week later and it was just as good. We continued going for another couple of months and then that location closed. A couple of weeks later we went to another location up on Andrews and Cypress Creek and I felt just like I had when I had my car stolen some years ago. A great sense of LOSS. This location used pre-made patties with no flavor or juiciness. It was a nice ride while it lasted so now its back to fish, I guess. Alas
I couldn't understand how it could fail with such an unbelievably good product but we noticed that they never had any advertising other than word of mouth. I bragged on this place
to everyone but apparently not enough.

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