end's only vegan food cart is tucked behind Palate Coffee Bar on Colorado and Bond in a rustic white single-wide horse trailer with a red bottom. There are a few patio tables in front of the A Broken Angel cart, one with a matching red umbrella. You can choose to sit there or have your food delivered inside of Palate.
I considered not mentioning that A Broken Angel is vegan because I didn't want to lose you if don't have that dietary restriction. I know most omnivores don't intentionally seek plant-based cuisine—but half of A Broken Angel's customers aren't vegan. If I didn't tell you I don't think you even would have noticed. Their menu, made with local organic ingredients, has Mexican and Southern flair but is best described as eclectic. They serve enchiladas, three kinds of tacos, burritos, hash, sandwiches, griddle cakes and biscuits and gravy.
To start, I ordered the turtle bean and black truffle potato tacos. The single smoked turtle bean taco was big enough to be a meal on its own. The creamy beans were topped with a heaping of pickled serrano jicama slaw and wrapped in a double corn taco shell. The combination of the soft black beans and the citrusy and spicy, crispy slaw was texture and flavor perfection. The black truffle potato taco with braised greens and roasted chilis was much more subtle. Earthy, pungent truffles can take over a dish, but the potatoes had just of hint of them and the greens and chilis were very mild. If I hear that a dish has chilis I expect to get a bit of heat, but I didn't find any spice so I added a bit of hot sauce to satisfy my craving for heat. Next I tried the enchilada short stack with layers of corn tortillas, roasted chilis, squash, potatoes, baby spinach, smoked black beans, poblano creme and fresh avocado. The enchiladas, like the tacos, were rich and satisfying.
- Lisa Sipe
- Chef Richard Hull
he chef behind A Broken Angel is Oklahoma native Richard Hull, who has a long history in the kitchen and an education that started early, at home. Hull's grandfather was a pastry chef who taught Hull the technique of pressing boiled potatoes through a ricer at age four. Twenty-three years later he found himself as an Executive Chef in one of America's top 100 Restaurants. Over his career he's earned a Masters in French Cooking and has opened 12 restaurants, including two of his own. These accomplishments and successes are what most chefs strive for, but Hull found it completely consumed his life and left him angry and with a substance abuse problem. He left Oklahoma for Oregon for a fresh start.
Once in the Pacific Northwest, Hull sobered up and changed his die, having no intention of getting back into the biz. He says he chose a plant-based diet for health and environmental reasons but believes "if you eat well you make good decisions." After two years in Oregon, Hull started dabbling in the catering business. That was a success and it eventually led him to open the food cart. He says he's "never been more proud."
Hull's new outlook on life comes across in his food. It's vegan, hearty and healthy—a warm belly hug. You can still see little touches of his classically trained background and his attention to detail, but it's not pretentious; it's just good food for the soul at a price that most people can afford. The most expensive item on the menu is $8 and you get so much food it could practically be two meals.
Regular customers and visitors go crazy for Hull's food. Daniel Jeffers from Portland left this review of A Broken Angel on Facebook—and I think it's representative of the feedback the cart usually receives: "Holy fucking shit you guys. My mouth is in such a state of compete bliss I could only utter expletives the whole meal. Unique takes on classic comfort food favorites for cheap, and it's a MEAL, not some dainty food cart snack bullshit. I'm coming back to Bend solely to get more biscuits and gravy, listen to great tunes and chat with the kind and talented owner. Do yourself a favor and eat this shit ASAP." That may sound over the top, but while I was there I witnessed one of these super fans in action. A gentleman sat at the table across from me and ordered a grilled super burrito. While he was eating it he kept looking over to me and saying, "they make the best food," and "isn't this so good?" This guy placed an order for 12 more burritos when he was done so he could freeze them and eat them at home all week. Wow!
A Broken Angel
Tues., Fri. & Sat. 9:30am - 2:30pm
643 NW Colorado Ave., Bend