Starship Bagel’s creator Oren Salomon admits he’s a bit of a nerd. He’s a bagel maker who wants to use bagels to make changes around Dallas.
New York transplant Salomon opened a home-based business that he called Oren’s Bagels in 2017. “It started in my house with my friends practically forcing me to take their money in exchange for bagels,” Salomon tells Eater Dallas of the venture, which focused on small, sweet, and dense Montreal-style bagels.
After transitioning to baking in larger kitchen inside a local church, Salomon’s venture ended after less than a year. “I knew it was my passion. I just couldn’t figure out how to make it happen,” he says. He stepped away from bagel-making and took a corporate job, but his heart wasn’t in it. In 2019, he made the decision to try again, this time at Boichik Bagels in Berkley, California. That’s where he learned how to use commercial bagel-making tools, and practiced making bagels by the thousand rather than dozens. And he developed what would become Starship Bagel’s dough.
He found inspiration in Emily Winston’s recipe at Boichik in San Francisco — itself a take on the New York-style H&H recipe. “Emily’s background was in engineering, so she perfected the classic H&H factory bagel,” Salomon says. “Ingredients make a huge difference. There are lots of trade secrets. My dough incorporates a lot of those, but it’s not the same dough.”
Salomon opened the first brick-and-mortar Starship Bagel in Lewisville in June 2021, and. With the opening of this second location in the middle of Downtown Dallas, he is looking to do more than expand. “This isn’t a story about me. This is a story about whether this city is a bagel town,” Salomon says. “If [Dallasites] demand it, and develop a taste for it, they’ll have a bagel culture of their own. So the shift is from me making them, to us having a story that we share.”
The shop is named after Salomon’s love for Star Trek and a bigger idea that people’s shared interests, like space travel, transcends all walks of life. “Food brings people together like nothing else,” Salomon says. “But when you’re not eating, that drive to connect is still there. The brand is about everyone who touches it.” That includes a commitment to inclusivity in terms of diets and backgrounds. The LGBTQ community, vegetarians, and vegans — all are welcome. But he takes a hardline stance at locals requesting a bacon, egg, and cheese. “You’re not participating in bagel culture by ordering an American sandwich. We are committed to being meatless,” says Salomon.
Coffee is another thing the shop won’t compromise on — Starship is pretty cutting edge. Salomon selected Onyx Coffee Lab out of Arkansas to roast and supply the beans. and invested in a second Ground Control brewing machine for this newest location. This unique machine uses a high-pressure vacuum to suck the water through the coffee grounds. It then uses fresh water to do it all over again, accessing flavors not usually accessible in the first brew.
The batch latte served at Starship Bagel goes through this high-pressure process three times to achieve its ultimate flavor. The resulting coffee is pour over-quality but made in huge batches. The shop also makes its syrups in-house because, as Salomon says, “commercial ones are more expensive and packed with junk.”
The menu at Starship is pretty simple: about a dozen bagel flavors, some classic and some specialty like wasabi sesame, za’atar, and pretzel, plus about as many varieties of schmear, including a vegan cream cheese made in-house from tofu. Sandwiches, both open-face and “sandwich style,” make up the rest of the food offerings. And customers can order lox by the pound, veggie boards, or brunch packs that feed a crowd.
Starship Bagel is open at 1520 Elm in Downtown Dallas, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily.
January 25, 2023: 8:55 a.m.: Correction: This article has been updated to more accurately reflect how the H&H bagels recipe was incorporated into developing the dough at Starship Bagels.