Friday, October 29, 2021

Happy Friday

You know it’s fall in South Florida when Knaus Berry Farm starts selling cinnamon rolls.  But bring a chair, water, and sunscreen.

It’s not the start of Fall in Miami until cinnamon rolls start showing up in our timelines.

Knaus Berry Farm, famous for its house-made cinnamon rolls, pies and fresh-baked bread in the Redland, opens for the season the last Tuesday of every October. It stays open Monday through Saturday, through mid-April, and closes only on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s day.

Visiting the farm, a family operation since 1956, is an annual South Florida tradition.

And while it is a fully-functioning farm, offering fresh produce — including you-pick strawberries in the late winter — its cinnamon rolls are by far the biggest draw.

A warning, however: Lines can stretch to well over two hours during peak times.

What are peak times? Certainly the first weekend the farm is open qualifies. Friday night and all day Saturday nights are sure to bring the masses down from Miami.

Here are some tips if this is your first time driving south for cinnamon rolls:

It’s not by accident that Knaus first opens for the season on a Tuesday. The number of Miamians willing or able to go into work late or leave early cuts down on the long lines. But no doubt the first few days will rival Black Friday, no matter the day of the week.  So bring a folding chair, bottled water to stay hydrated and sunscreen. A hat wouldn’t hurt.

There’s nothing worse than waiting in an hours-long line just to reach the front and realize you can’t pay for your food. Knaus Berry Farm is strictly a cash business. And there’s no ATM at the farm and the closest one is at a gas station several miles away. Stop off at your bank first.  Cinnamon rolls cost $1.75 a piece, $7.50 a half dozen, $14.50 a dozen.

It’s not just cinnamon rolls. The fresh-baked bread is the reason many folks make this trip a weekly, not annual, tradition. The dinner rolls ($4.75 a dozen) are fluffy heaven. The dilly, raisin or mountain bread loaves ($4.40) have legion fans. And the coconut and pineapple upside down cakes ($11.50) are required. Just love cinnamon rolls? Try the pecan rolls ($18 for a tray of 10). It’s the most overlooked upgrade to Knaus’ cinnamon rolls.

In season, Knaus’ strawberry shakes are some of the best around. Lacking that, try the cinnamon roll shake — there’s nothing quite like it in South Florida. And they make for a great pastime while you’re waiting to move ahead in line.

I already got mine.

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