Prince Hookah Lounge and Cafe
I've been to this lounge several times over the past 2 years. My first few experiences with hookah were all at this lounge, smoking out of the Mya hookahs that were at one standard. Since then, all hookahs have been upgraded to Khalil Mamoon and Magdy Zidan, I'm pretty sure they went as far as to sell all the used Myas as I haven't seen a single one in the past few months.The atmosphere is very quiet and relaxed during the day, usually with middle eastern music playing and customers here and there scattered about the room. During the weekends Prince brings in a DJ who gives it more of a nightclub feel with louder rap and hip-hop music mostly and its normally full of college kids. I enjoy it myself, because it's a fun environment to be in with friends, but if you're looking for a more traditional hookah lounge feel, you'll definitely want to come during the day. Single hose hookahs are $6 before 6 pm, with prices ranging between $10-$20 afterwards depending on number of hoses and shisha, with fruit bowls and various water additives available for a few extra dollars. All standard flavors are Al-Fakher as far as I know, with Fantasia, Starbuzz, Golden Layalina and Fusion on the menu as "premium" shishas.
[b]Service: [/b]As far as service goes, I have yet to find another hookah lounge with service as good as it is at Prince. The first few times I visited, the service wasn't great, however as the lounge started upgrading their hookahs and things it seemed like a larger focus was put on providing good service, as my last few visits have had great service, great heat management and new coals when I need them. Also the staff are very knowledgeable and are more than willing to help first time users and can generally give very good advice about flavors. [b]9/10[/b], only because I have had bad service there in the past
[b]Hookah quality:[/b] As I said before, the standard shisha is Al Fakher, which is on the menu alongside "premium" shishas. The bowls are usually packed very well, its only become harsh on me once that I can remember and if you let the staff know, they'll fix it for you fairly quickly. The shop also employs a shishavac, so your hookah is stoked and ready to smoke as soon as you get it. All hookahs are KM and MZ, mostly KM, with washable hoses. I am not sure of the hose brand, but draw seems almost as good as standard KM hose. My biggest gripe by far is that they use quicklight coals. While they are generally completely ashed over by the time they reach your hookah, occasionally they are not, which can lead to a slightly chemical taste, however this has been rare in my experience. [b]8/10[/b]
[b]Food[/b]: Over time I've tried most of the food on Prince's menu and have been very satisfied. They offer various Mediterannean dishes such as gyros, baklava, Laziz drinks, Turkish coffee etc. which are generally of the quality one might expect from a small cafe. Also on the menu are more "Americanized" cafe dishes such as grilled sandwiches, mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, etc. When I eat there, I generally get a soda and a sandwich, though I have tried most of the other dishes at various times. The only one I wasn't a fan of were the chicken fingers, which were fairly dry and obviously microwaved. [b]8/10[/b]
[b]Role as a smoke shop:[/b] This is by far my favorite aspect of Prince. I live very close to it and its great being able to walk a few blocks and get Coconara coals, Al-Fakher shisha and even KM Hookahs. The prices are all competitive with what you'd find online as far as shishas and coals go. A 250g tub of AF runs $10.99 and a 108 piece box of Coconaras is something like $14.99. The KMs are a bit more than you might pay online, with the cheapest being $130, but not outrageously more expensive. If you buy a hookah, they will also give you a few free 50g shisha packs, a few rolls of quicklight coals and show you how to pack a bowl if you're new to it. They've also recently began selling their own house blend shisha, which is around $10.99 for 250g. It comes in small vacuum-packed bags as opposed to tubs and is a fairly coarse cut, but the orange is definitely a flavor to try if you're a fan of orange soda. It tastes just like an orange soda you'd get in a bottle and mixes well with AF Vanilla. Brands sold that I can remember are Al-Fakher, Layalina, Starbuzz, Fusion, Nakhla, Fantasia and a few others, along with their house blend. They also stock 3 Kings and Deezer quicklight coals, along with a no-name brand and Coconara naturals, along with a few other generic coconut coals. [b]10/10[/b]
[b]Additional thoughts:[/b] This is a great hookah lounge if you're looking for somewhere in the area for a good smoke one night or if you need to pick up some supplies. Keep in mind however, it is right beside a college, so at night you're always gonna have a huge college crowd there and it'll be loud, so if that's not what you're wanting you'll probably be better visiting earlier in the day. Overall, I give Prince an [b]A[/b] and definitely recommend visiting if you're in the Lexington area.