Restaurants / Openings

Houston’s Bagel Institution Expands With New Bellaire Shop That Brings Serious Chef Power — Bagel Shop Bakery Gets a Second Life

Celebrity Chef With Major Cooking Bonafides is Being Creative While Staying Kosher

BY // 01.08.21

Bagel Shop Bakery has been serving fresh bagels on Hillcroft in Meyerland for nearly 40 years along with its sister restaurant, New York Deli and Coffee Shop. Now, the team behind this Houston institution’s finally opened a second Bagel Shop Bakery in Bellaire.

This new bagel haven at 5422 Bellaire Boulevard brings an expanded menu with traditional dishes mixed in with modern offerings, all strictly kosher.

Michael Saghian joined onto New York Deli & Coffee Shop as a partner two years ago and he has had a huge hand in helping to grow and rebrand it. Besides the new Bagel Shop Bakery, a second New York Deli and Houston Catering Concepts are also opening in this Bellaire center. (The second New York Deli is expected to open by the summer, while the company’s catering business is already up and running.)

The new Bagel Shop Bakery location offers new menu items, including pastries, coffee and even hot food. However, there’s no need to worry about the original Bagel Shop Bakery or New York Deli.

The original  bagel spot will stay the same. Saghian, who grew up eating at New York Deli, knows the importance the shop has to the Houston community and hopes to add to that with the new Bellaire location.

“It’s a staple of our community,” Saghian tells PaperCity. “The original location has to stay around. It’s the heart and soul of our entire company, but we’re very excited to have the second location. The response has been great and there’s something for everybody at the new location with being able to offer the hot line prepared food and the higher level of kosher.”

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Executive chef Roshni Gurnani, an alum of the Hell’s Kitchen and Beat Bobby Flay food TV shows and a Chopped champion, brings a new level of culinary expertise that’s very rare for a bagel shop. She’s even cooked at the James Beard House, putting out a seven course vegetarian menu that reflected her Indian heritage.

Gurnani’s approach to expanding upon the original menu has been to keep traditional dishes and revamp them by offering modern takes that are more friendly to a diverse range of dietary needs. This modern takes on the classics include a Reuben sandwich that’s made with salmon pastrami instead of beef, a vegan falafel burger and a vegan matzo ball soup.

“(We’re) sticking true to what you would find in a New York deli, but new, scratch-made and really trying to cater to everyone,” Gurnani tells PaperCity. “If you follow a kosher lifestyle we’re able to provide that for you. If you don’t, we’re still able to provide great choices.

“It’s definitely something totally different. Sourcing everything out that is kosher approved. And we do have to approve everything as it walks through the door. Every single item we order from our purveyors has to be signed off for so we’re really taking that extra measure, that extra step to be able to provide this service to Houston.”

Pizza Bagel at the Bagel Shop Bakery
Offering adult take on a childhood classic, The Bagel Shop Bakery sells Pizza Bagels. (Photo by the Bagel Shop Bakery)

In addition to the hot menu items, Bagel Shop Bakery also has pastries and coffee. This seems destined to become a new must-visit Houston bakery. The menu includes vegan, keto and dairy-free baked goods. Everything at Bagel Shop Bakery is 100 percent kosher and 100 percent made in house.

The wide range of dietary options and making everything from scratch build on the original location’s legacy.

“(This) makes us different from any other bagel shop out there,” Gurnani says.

The bakery is Houston Kashruth (HKA) and Mehadrin Kashrus of Texas (MKT) certified. It’s honoring kosher traditions with a creative chef who brings things to new heights.

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