Dallas is not New York but that doesn't make the desire for good bagels any less urgent. Coming to the rescue is Starship Bagel, a startup that has opened in Lewisville, at 1108 W. Main St., in the space that used to be Green Truck Cafe.
Starship is from Oren Salomon, a young entrepreneur with a true passion for making great bagels.
He's doing New York-style bagels, made in small batches with the most premium ingredients, in classic varieties such as Plain, Sesame, Poppyseed, Everything, Garlic, Salt, and Zaatar, but also Wasabi Sesame featuring wasabi-coated sesame seeds which deliver a subtle warmth, not too spicy.
A single bagel is $2.50; a half dozen goes for $12. He also has lox from Brooklyn-based Acme Smoked Fish Corp in two varieties, Nova (plain) and Pastrami, cured and seasoned with traditional pastrami spices; and a quartet of cream cheese shmears: plain, garden veggie, lox, and fermented jalapeno.
His bagels can be ordered online and are available for curbside pickup or delivery.
Salomon started his bagel journey by first tinkering at home.
"Friends came over to try them, and liked them so much that they put money down on the table to persuade me to make bagels the next weekend," he says.
Bolstered, he launched a cottage business called Oren's Bagels, then landed an opportunity to learn more about the craft: an apprenticeship at Boichik Bagels, a buzzy bagel shop in Berkeley, California.
"I'd been doing production in my home kitchen, making a dozen bagels at a time," he says. "Working with [Boichik owner] Emily Winston taught me how to expand to the size of a small-scale bagel factory."
For the past year or so, he's been doing occasional batches to keep the Starship name out there while he finalized preparation on his location. Ramping up slowly offered valuable lessons and helped him refine his process.
"People like to scapegoat the water, and make New York water the holy grail, but other cities have good water, too," he says. "For me it's about staying true to the process: making the dough, then cold-fermenting it for at least 24 hours. Using the right ingredients, then boiling and baking. Some bagel places don't do the long fermentation due to space or time constraints, but I'd rather not sacrifice quality to sell more."
The name Starship, he says, is a reflection of his personality and his lofty goals.
"I'm into sci-fi but that's not the only tie-in," he says. "I'm working on a series of comic strips that go along with the restaurant, it's an accompanying art project that I use to make a broader cultural impact and bring visibility to the things I'm interested in and the stories I want to tell. A restaurant can be about more than the food."