We know a lot of people who say they don't like lox on their morning bagel, and we can easily imagine why. Your average food-service lox is a disgrace to hard-swimming salmon everywhere--a limp and pallid shadow of its former self, mealy in texture and lacking in taste other than a slight rheumy tang. Even lox fans tend to pile on flavor enhancers such as sliced onion or capers.
Lack of flavor is not a problem with the smoked-fish selection at Greg's Bagels. In fact, the only problem when ordering at the Belvedere Square eatery is deciding which of up to 15 intensely flavorful varieties of smoked salmon and other fish to try. Fortunately, owner/baker/master of ceremonies Greg Novik is usually handy for a recommendation, and Novik knows his smoked Salmonidae. For the past 13 years, he has been importing schools of custom-cured fish--the seagoing cousin of microbrewery beer--from the far corners of the world, including Alaska (home of the moist and meaty wild coho salmon), Canada's Bay of Fundy (origin point of piquant house favorite Jail Island), and Iceland (the beechwood-smoked Icelandic). Greg's fish menu also features slightly more prosaic products given a kick by house-made marinades. Supplies of the exotic stuff are seasonal and limited, and the prices can climb up to $6.25 for a few slices of sublimely gamy wild Alaskan red king on one of Greg's hand-rolled bagels with a schmear of cream cheese, but this savory breakfast is worth it.