Press

Taste This! A Broken Angel
~ Central Oregon Daily, Jul 2018

“This week in our Taste This segment, Donna Britt samples the food coming out of A Broken Angel, a tiny cart behind a Bend coffee shop, and gets the story behind the delicious dishes.

Thanks to Chef Rich and Barbara from A Broken Angel for telling their story and sharing food with us. Find their cart on Bond Street behind Palate A Coffee Bar and learn more about what they do online at abrokenangel.com.”


FOOD FOR THOUGHT HOW TO:
WORKING WITH VEG-FRIENDLY CATERERS

~ Food for Thought CamPaign, JAN 2019

A Broken Angel's Barb Troyer was recently interviewed for her "other" job -- working with wildlife, environmental, and companion animal nonprofits on menu policy -- and we thought it would be fun to share here! {source}

You’re involved with a nonprofit which has been contemplating adopting a more animal- and earth-friendly menu policy -- yet you still have some lingering questions. Does this sound familiar? To start, it’s amazing that you’re looking to align your mission and your actions to save even more lives and to help protect our planet! It’s also understandable to have concerns or inquiries, just like with any type of change. 

One of the most common questions we hear is “How does our organization work with caterers on creating a vegan/vegetarian menu for our upcoming event?” Since we are very fortunate to have a staff member, Barb, who is actually also a vegan caterer, we thought it may be helpful for her to share her knowledge on this very topic via an interview with fellow staff member, Allie!

Interviewer: Allie Gunter, West Coast Coordinator (San Diego, California)
Interviewee: Barbara Troyer, Food for Thought Wildlife & Environmental Coordinator and Caterer at A Broken Angel Sustainable Catering and Food Cart (Bend, Oregon)

Q: What tips do you have for someone who is looking to work with a veg-friendly caterer for the first time?
A: Even if a caterer is all plant-based, they probably have a cuisine or cuisines they specialize in. Take the time to review a caterer’s website and social media accounts, then contact them and provide as many specifics about your event as you can and ask for their catering menu. Some catering companies or chains may have pre-set menus and price lists, but for high-end catering, don’t expect a quote without speaking with the caterer first about your event details. Many chefs want to work with you on your special event and will take the time to talk with you about your needs and expectations, then create a customized quote based on the expected headcount and other factors.

Q: What tips do you have for someone who is looking to work with a veg-friendly caterer for the first time?
A: If you’re able to find an all-vegan caterer, I would contact them first as they specialize in delicious and creative plant-based foods. However, if this is not an option in your area, many caterers are now offering vegan entrées alongside their other menu items. If they do (or are looking to do) a substantial amount of vegan catering, their catering menu will reflect this. Even traditional restaurants and caterers are sometimes willing to take on a creative challenge and will work with you to produce crowd-pleasing options. This is a win for both your event and for the caterer, as a successful catered event can draw new business and showcase the diversity of the chef. I’ve noticed caterers commenting after preparing an all-vegan spread that they found the process exciting and plan to offer more vegan options going forward for other clients.

Q: What made you decide to offer vegan food for your own catering business?
A: Creating a vegan catering business (and food cart) was a natural fit for myself and my chef partner, Richard Hull. I’d been a long-time vegan activist and dreamed for years about opening a food cart or other food business. Chef Hull is French-trained and brought 20+ years of experience in restaurants from his own bistro, to head chef at multiple award-winning restaurants, to high-volume hotel catering departments. When Richard relocated to Oregon and had a personal lifestyle change, he utilized his talent and training in developing a new Southern American vegan cuisine. Or as I often tell customers, “He turned his magical talents onto plants and never looked back!” I brought years of casual vegan cooking experience to the team as well and have happily expanded into the roles of baker and fermenter for A Broken Angel. Operating both the food cart and catering business allows us to offer our community two very different types of vegan cuisines: cart art (street food) and high-end catering (weddings, parties, and so on). What both have in common is savory and approachable food with no reliance on mock meats or fake anything.

Q: What is your personal favorite vegan food item you make?
A: I can tell you that our customer’s favorite food cart item is probably the biscuits and gravy (I make the biscuits, Richard makes the gravy). Personally, I love toasted English muffins in the morning with avocado, garden tomatoes, homemade sauerkraut, capers, and a bit of salt and pepper. Sometimes I’ll add a little Miyoko’s cream cheese. I also enjoy chickpeas cooked almost any way, and baking and devouring a good cinnamon roll. But I love the taste of Field Roast products too, so meals don’t always have to be made from scratch!

Q: What trends do you see happening in plant-based foods?
A: Veganism continues to be a top consumer trend and as a result, more people than ever are expecting vegan options at events. In fact, a 
Top Trends in Prepared Foods in 2017 report highlighted that the number of vegans in the U.S. grew 600% in 3 short years! Numerous studies have also reported that reduced meat consumption is key to reversing climate change. At the same time, many more options are available to consumers in stores like aged cheeses and savory sausages and burgers, and plant-based meats and lab-grown meats continue to improve in texture and flavor and become more widely available. Although there are some cooks that rely heavily on these substitutes, I’m seeing more vegan chefs starting to branch out into specialized cuisines that minimize the usage of mock meats and cheeses.

Q: What are the most common ingredients you use to substitute for eggs, dairy, etc.?
A: Almond milk is our go-to for so many recipes from biscuits to griddle cakes to savory dishes. Cashews are a staple as well for crème sauces. Refined coconut oil is cut in for butter in baked goods and used in many other ways. We include a variety of mushrooms in our savory dishes (I mentioned earlier that we don’t use mock meats for the food cart or catering). Occasionally, I’ll use flax or chia in place of eggs or gelatin, or aquafaba (from chickpeas).

Q: What is something you wish your clients knew ahead of time when working together?
A: We’ve catered for some nonprofits and private clients who may eat vegan themselves but have many guests or family members who are not as familiar with plant-based eating. I would suggest that they not emphasize the fact that the meal will be vegan. If asked, describe the type of cuisine and courses in such a way that it sounds enticing! Don’t start out by saying, “Well, it’s all vegan…” We don’t talk about meat-centric meals that way. Imagine if every time someone referred to Italian food, for instance, as meat-based Italian food. So why should we say, vegan Italian food? It’s just good food.

Thank you to Barb for sharing her wisdom on plant-based catering!

The guests at your next fundraising or sponsored event will be singing the praises of your choice to serve menu items that further the impact of your organization’s scope -- whether they are personally plant-based themselves or not!

5 Great Food Trucks in Bend Right Now 
~ Bend Magazine, Apr 2018

"A Broken Angel is one of Bend’s best food truck options and one of Bend’s best all-around options for vegan dining. Operating from the tiny cart parked next to Palate Coffee Bar, Chef Richard Hull creates dishes bursting with flavors. The menu features Southern dishes with French and Pacific Northwest influences. A Broken Angel’s range of the options makes it one of Bend’s best lunch spots."

Vegan Food Truck Needs Community Help To Grow 
~ Source Weekly, Apr 2018

"After two years of hustling in their small vegan food cart, Chef Richard Hull and his partner Barbara Troyer are crowd funding to purchase a larger trailer for A Broken Angel. Their current cart is so tiny only Hull can fit in it. Even the register sits outside exposed to the elements. A larger trailer will give Hull more space to cook, which can mean shorter wait times and more items on the menu. And with space for three people, Hull can have an assistant and orders can be taken inside. To achieve their trailer dreams, Hull and Troyer need to raise $25,000. They are asking the community to contribute to their cause through the crowd-funding platform Kickstarter. A Broken Angel only receives funding if they meet their goal by May 6. To contribute, visit their website."

The 8 Best Healthy Food Trucks in Oregon
~ The Local Dish, Apr 2018

"Bend’s #1 vegan food truck, A Broken Angel, has a loyal audience queuing up daily at this mobile kitchen, fashioned from an eight-foot horse trailer. Owner Barb Troyer describes her food style as “New Southern American with a French inspired Pacific NW mountain flair.” Chef Richard Hull is menu master and head cook, translating the unique style into dishes like Grilled Artichoke Tostadas, Mt. Bachelor Hash, and Enchilada Short Stack. Not only is this food on wheels, A Broken Angel also offers cooking classes at dinner parties to 'empower' your healthy cooking skills. A Kickstarter campaign is underway to raise money for a trailer fit for their growing vegan kitchen."

Bend's Best Vegan Food
~ Honey and Hare, Mar 2018

"This little cart packs some seriously bold flavors and menu options that will make you think twice about mocking your vegan cousin at Easter dinner this year. Sustainable, local, organic, and vegan, Broken Angel is about as smart as it gets. We can’t get enough of the Pacific NW Philly made with marinated portobello strips, caramelized chilis & onions, & roasted garlic poblano crème on a focaccia hoagie for just $8. And that picture above, the one that looks like something that should come with a minor cardiac event, those are the ridiculously delicious, totally vegan Griddle Cakes with grilled bananas, peanut butter, and blueberry syrup. They’re only $7, but you’ll have to order these bad boys before noon since they’re part of the oh-so-decadent brunch menu. Seriously, this place will haunt your dreams."

A Very Special Dining Event with A Broken Angel
~ @preownedwombat, MAR 2018

Bend food trucks serve up morning meals
~ Bend Bulletin, Feb 2018

“Richard Hull, co-owner and chef of A Broken Angel, is one of the few food truck owners in town who specialize in vegan meals. ‘I’ve always loved brunch,’ said Hull. ‘I’ve opened 12 restaurants in Oklahoma and two of mine were based around brunch.’

After moving to Bend from Oklahoma, Hull decided to start cooking without any animal products. ‘I think what we’re trying to do is educate people on how to feed themselves in a more humane, sustainable way,’ said Hull. ‘And it’s very easy, it’s just getting out of that rut that you’ve gotta have those main things.’

When creating breakfast and brunch items, the lack of milk, eggs and bacon forces a chef to be creative in their menu.

‘I think when you use animal products, you’re actually limiting yourself,’ Hull said. ‘Most people, they’re just caught up in that eggs, bacon, sausage routine; they don’t really step out and think about other things.’

Some of Hull’s offerings include the big country, the Mt. Bachelor hash and griddle cakes. The dishes range from $5 to $8.

The top seller is the big country, which combines biscuits and wild mushroom gravy with the house scramble.

‘I watched my gran. I started cooking with him in his kitchen at 4 years old, making biscuits, making gravy,’ Hull said. ‘They’re just classic; it’s southern comfort, biscuits and gravy.’

The scramble is a combination of organic tofu, crimini mushrooms, roasted chilies, squash, caramelized onions and braised greens, seasoned with toasted curry powder and smoked paprika. ‘The toasted curry and smoked paprika give it that color, but a little bit of a smell factor that you get before you eat it,’ said Hull.

The Mt. Bachelor hash is a roasted chili potato hash with wild mushroom gravy, braised greens, smoked turtle beans and avocado, accompanied by grilled corn tortillas.

‘People are so in that zone where you have to have eggs to make things rise,’ said Hull. ‘Really it just comes down to working with ingredients.’

The griddle cakes are vegan pancakes, made with flour, sugar, baking powder, vanilla and almond milk, and topped with bananas, peanut butter and blueberry syrup.

‘It’s hard to find delicious vegan pancakes by a chef who specializes in vegan food, and made at an all vegan facility,’ said Barbara Troyer, co-owner of A Broken Angel. ‘So this is a special treat for many people.’"

A Broken Angel Serves Heavenly Meals
~ SOURCE WEEKLY, OCT 2017

“Bend'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.

The 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[t], 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!”

Vegan in Bend, Oregon (video)
~ Kristin Emily, May 2017

Check us out at about 19:30 min and again at 23 min.

New wedding trends hit Central Oregon’s food scene
~ Bend Bulletin, May 2017

“A Broken Angel, a food cart and catering business that specializes in vegan dishes, has also been hot on the wedding scene. A Broken Angel’s catering business can serve an entirely gourmet vegan meal for weddings of up to 150 people. Couples are advised to reserve catering dates with A Broken Angel far in advance, especially for summer weddings, to ensure the company isn’t already booked.

While many of A Broken Angel’s customers eat only plant-based foods, this summer the food cart and caterer will also be creating meals for couples who align more with the likes of meat eaters but prefer cuisine that A Broken Angel has to offer. ‘It’s just kind of a testament to how if it’s good food, it’s good food,’ said Barbara Troyer, owner of A Broken Angel. ‘You don’t have to put a label on it.’ …

The menus are so customized for A Broken Angel’s clients that there isn’t even a set menu to start with. Chef Richard Hull selects the items for wedding ceremonies based on what the couple has in mind, the type of dinner they would like (buffet, plated or a hybrid), and what’s in season. ‘We really specialize in a unique, tailored experience,’ Troyer said. Being a vegan dining option, the meal would usually be different from the start for many of their guests.”

The vegans are alright: Thanks to A Broken Angel food cart in Bend, Oregon
~ Eternal Beginner's Guide to Bend, May 2017

“The philosophy at Broken Angel food cart is ‘sustainable + local + organic + vegan.’ Yeah, all hip buzzwords. But not just buzzwords when it comes to the menu at this kickass cart. Here you’ll find things to eat that aren’t animals or animal byproducts (duh), and that are as organic and locally sourced as possible. That means grilled artichoke tostadas, biscuits and wild mushroom gravy, crimini tofu scrambles, lots of grilled things, and more, all concocted using fresh, close-to-home, organic, animal-free ingredients. I repeat, so it comes across loud and clear: A Broken Angel food cart = organic, local, vegan. These three things also = sustainability, on a micro and a macro level. Know what else = sustainability? The compostable materials Rich uses for serving up, wrapping up, and sending out food. And the Broken Angel food cart itself, the physical structure of it, is also built entirely out of repurposed materials. This also = sustainability. …”

Where to GO! for a food truck experience
~ Bend Bulletin, FEB 2017

 

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