You may think you’ve seen tropical fruit, but you haven’t really seen tropical fruit until you’ve visited Robert is Here in Homestead, Florida. (Yes, it’s called Robert is Here – more on that below.) Calling Robert is Here a tropical fruit stand seems like a enormous understatement – it’s more like a tropical fruit wonderland, complete with some of the best milkshakes and fruit smoothies we’ve ever had.
Yes, there are coconuts as far as the eye can see… and that’s only just the beginning. You’ll find star fruit, sugar cane, and papayas. Oh yes, and jackfruit, dragon fruit, oranges, lemons, limes, plantains, watermelons, and avocados almost as big as a football.
You’ll also discover some new tropical fruit treats like guanabana – an amazingly sweet fruit that’s like a giant cherimoya. And black sapote, which is the closest thing to chocolate pudding you’ll ever taste in a fruit.
Amazingly, they’ve made almost every local fruit or flower into a variety of honey, and if you visit the honey tasting station, you can taste the essence of South Florida’s most fragrant blossoms. The key lime honey actually tastes like key limes (!) and the highly coveted palmetto honey has a splendid orange-caramel, slightly woodsy flavor.
Since you’re near the Florida Keys, you’ll of course want to try something with key limes, which leads us to key lime milkshakes. They’re billed as “the best key lime milkshakes in the country,” and we have no reason to doubt that because truthfully, we’ve never had key lime milkshakes anywhere else. Made with a special blend of soft-serve ice cream, milk, and low-fat yogurt, they are creamy, tangy, and just barely sweet – so achingly delicious you will want to just hang out all afternoon in the shade ordering more.
Now for the real question – Why is it called “Robert is Here”? The backstory is completely charming: In 1959, Robert’s father, a farmer, asked him to sell some cucumbers by the side of the road. But he didn’t sell any, and he assumed that people just hadn’t noticed him. So he created his own sign that declared “Robert is Here,” to draw customers…and a business was born. He hired his first employee at age 9 and by age 14 he was able to buy 10 acres of land, complete with a house. His farm stand location hasn’t changed from the original spot 58 years ago.
If you visit Robert is Here (it’s a can’t-miss stop if you’re driving from Miami to the Florida Keys), you’ll almost certainly get a chance to chat with Robert, who can usually be found behind the counter. Make sure you tell him we said ‘Hi!’
Robert is Here Fruit Stand is located at 19200 SW 344th St, Homestead, FL. Phone: (305)246-1592. www.robertishere.com
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