Yabo and Chef Ryan Kida remix old favorites, food-truck style


Chef Ryan Kida’s gnocchi bathed in creamy Gorgonzola sauce amassed a cult-like subsequent at Yabo, the art-stuffed cafe and songs location he opened and grew in south Fort Myers from 2007 to 2016. Six many years soon after closing, Kida’s devotees have been delighted to come across those people pillowy balls of dough have been resurrected, now served scorching from the window of the new Yabo foods truck.

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Kida and longtime friend Mike Mechachonis fired up the truck Dec. 21, reintroducing a couple of menu staples from the previous brick-and-mortar cafe, although tossing in a rotating lineup of extras.

When the initial Yabo opened in 2006, it was a haven for foodies and a hidden gem for locals, tucked in an unsuspecting strip shopping mall on Outdated McGregor Boulevard. A darkish den for Kida’s from-scratch Italian fare, Yabo’s partitions have been coated in rock-and-roll posters. The smaller eating home housed a scant handful of tables and a little phase where Kida could indulge his other passion — audio

In 2011, he relocated to a roomier room on Summerlin Highway, now property to Lynq, much more than doubling in size. The more substantial cafe proved to be also a great deal. 5 several years later, Yabo shut, and Kida went into what he identified as “hibernation.”

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He peeked out a calendar year later on to be a part of the team at nearby Poppy’s Pizza, briefly reviving his beloved gnocchi before packing his knives and going back to his roots on Sanibel Island, leading the culinary crew at MudBugs Cajun Kitchen.

“MudBugs is my full-time day job that enables me to do my side tasks,” Kida mentioned.

“Facet tasks” this kind of as the Yabo foods truck.

Kida grew up on Sanibel.

“As quickly as I could perform, maybe 13, my stepdad brought me to a cafe down the road and told me to get a task,” he reported. “Coming again to the place I commenced is a comprehensive-circle second.”

(Left to right) Ryan Kida and Michael "Mike" Mechachonis hold up a freshly prepared pork chop on the Yabo food truck at the Point Ybel Brewing Company, on Wednesday, May 11, 2022 in Fort Myers, Fla.

(Left to proper) Ryan Kida and Michael “Mike” Mechachonis maintain up a freshly organized pork chop on the Yabo food truck at the Point Ybel Brewing Enterprise, on Wednesday, Could 11, 2022 in Fort Myers, Fla.

His family members is Italian and Australian, as a result his gravitation in direction of Italian elements. The word “yabo” is Aussie slang for “lazy bum.”

Surrounded by foodstuff at function and property, Kida remembered often becoming curious about the culinary arts. “Then I figured out it is difficult get the job done to make that art,” he said. “People never understand that.”

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When Mechachonis, Kida’s decades-prolonged pal, wished to retire to Southwest Florida, the meals-truck notion took flight.

“What I love about the truck is that it presents flexibility to go any place and do anything at all,” Kida said. “It’s a touring restaurant.”

Out of the mobile kitchen area, Kida and Mechachonis crank out a revolving menu of specials that just about constantly contain his well-known gnocchi along with “Beck’s Luggage,” a further Yabo staple: tiny pasta purses referred to as sachetti total of truffle product in a garlic-herb sauce.

Kida has also been “messing all around,” as he put it, with hen Parmesan sandwiches and poutine fries smothered in beef gravy and cheese curds.

Ryan Kida pours raspberry chipotle sauce on a freshly made pork chop on the Yabo food truck at the Point Ybel Brewing Company, on Wednesday, May 11, 2022 in Fort Myers, Fla.

Ryan Kida pours raspberry chipotle sauce on a freshly built pork chop on the Yabo food truck at the Place Ybel Brewing Enterprise, on Wednesday, May well 11, 2022 in Fort Myers, Fla.

More specialties consist of fried foods on sticks — think eggplant Parm and fried macaroni and cheese, and a fried lasagna-on-a-adhere that captured first place at February’s Foods Truck Wars Southwest Florida in Cape Coral.

But the truck just isn’t only for competitions. Clients can locate Yabo parked at Point Ybel Brewing Co. in south Fort Myers Wednesdays from 6-9 p.m., with occasional appearances on other evenings and at personal gatherings.

“Breweries are all great,” he stated. “Point Ybel is in my old ‘hood, and I appreciate their beer. It’s a excellent relationship.”

When not in the kitchen area at MudBugs or manning the truck, Kida manages to locate time for his other aspect undertaking: new music. He plucks the bass guitar and sings backup in his band, The Camaros.

“Cooking is my art, but audio is every thing that drives me,” he explained. Early in his occupation, although manning a hot canine stand at Lowe’s, he went to faculty for audio engineering, getting useful expertise to file his initially album, “Kida Blues Experiment.”

“I simply cannot get ample of it,” he claimed. “When I retire from the kitchen area, I’ll perform songs for the relaxation of my life — cook meals on the side. Songs is a present.”

To his foodie supporters, Kida’s culinary prowess is the real reward — and that gnocchi.

For a lot more on Yabo and its plan, check out facebook.com/yaborestaurant.

Freshly made fried Oreos with chocolate and peanut butter sauces from the Yabo food truck at the Point Ybel Brewing Company, on Wednesday, May 11, 2022 in Fort Myers, Fla.

Freshly built fried Oreos with chocolate and peanut butter sauces from the Yabo meals truck at the Place Ybel Brewing Corporation, on Wednesday, May perhaps 11, 2022 in Fort Myers, Fla.

Gina Birch writes about foodstuff, wine and spirits for The News-Press and at thebirchbeat.blogspot.com. Observe her as @ginabirch on Twitter and locate her on Facebook.

This posting initially appeared on Fort Myers Information-Push: Fort Myers eating places: New Yabo remixes old favorites, meals-truck model


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