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dc denizen

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About dc denizen

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    Bey - Low Lord of the Hose.

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  1. Weekly Dc/nova Area Meetup.

    Hi, I live in NW DC and smoke shisha regularly. Here are reviews of some of the cafes I've been to in the DC area. Would welcome your opinions about others. Lebnan Zaman (Tyson's area in VA): Still my favorite place. Nothing fancy, plain chairs and tables, so-so service, but good Lebanese food and consistently good shisha. They keep their pipes clean, and separated by flavor. If you order strawberry, it tastes like strawberry, not like mint or whatever flavor the last person smoked in it. This is a constant problem for me in nearly every other cafe I have been to in this area. They have outside seating, but it's tough to get an outside table after 8p. Mostly middle eastern crowd. Shisha is around $10. Queen's Hookah (DC Adams Morgan, 18th St.) Comfortable - cushioned couches, nice atmosphere. Excellent service. Diverse crowd. Shisha is not bad, around $10. Have not eaten there, so don't know about their food. Prince Cafe (18th & Belmont, Adams Morgan) Horrible shisha - don't waste your time or money. Nice location with scenic outside patio, but that's all it has going for it. Chi Cha Lounge (16th St., U St. corridor) Not bad...not Arabic (South American), and it's a bar scene nights and weekends. Comfortable furniture, cool atmosphere, a couple of sidewalk tables. Food is served as tapas and is pretty good. Reasonably priced for DC. I had shisha there one afternoon a week ago, and it was only $8. Not sure if it was a special happy-hour price. Cairo Cafe (Landmark West, Little River Tnpk, VA) This is an Egyptian-owned restaurant that serves shisha. I've been there 3x. Although the family that owns it is very nice, I was not crazy about the food or the shisha. It's been in business for awhile now, so obviously there are people who like it. Alf Layla (Chantilly, VA): Have been there twice, but it was long ago. Went with my cousins and their wives and kids. The owner/host acted snooty, and pissed my cousins off. People were very dressed up, lots of couples, mostly Arabs. It was expensive. The shisha was just ok. Food was good. A friend went there 2 weeks ago for her graduation party, and said the shisha was really good, so maybe it has improved. Prince Cafe (Skyline, Falls Church, VA) This used to be my favorite shisha spot years ago, but the shisha, food, service, and atmosphere deteriorated and I don't go there anymore. Aladdin Cafe (Skyline, Falls Church, VA) The shisha was just ok. Food was good. Service was horrible. One night, the music was so loud I couldn't have a conversation with my friend. There are 2 or 3 other shisha cafes in the Skyline area that I've tried but can't remember their names. The bottom line is, the only consistently good smoking experience I've found in this area is at Lebnan Zaman. I don't like having to trek all the way out there to smoke; their plastic chairs are uncomfortable after the first hour; and the service is not great, but going anywhere else is almost always a disappointment and a waste of money.
  2. Shisha Meet-up Forum?

    How about a forum for posting shisha smoking meet-ups? Could be part of the regional, if you decide to do that. Someone posted here about a shisha group in the DC-Northern VA area last year, but I can't find the post.
  3. Baroody Wood Coals

    Bought a bag of Baroody wood coals from the Greek importing store. They're imported from Syria. Paid $4 for a 2-pound bag. They're shaped like cylinders (fingers), around 4"-5" long. They need to be halved or cut in thirds before using, which is messy. They light faster than other bulk coal I've used, but not as fast as the quicklights. They burn very nicely. Not too fast, not too slow. They don't pop, spark, or smoke. They impart no flavor that I could discern. The ashes are a fine grey powder. I found them less messy than other charcoal. The more I use bulk coal, the less I like quicklights. They may be convenient, but I can really tell the difference in taste between them and the bulk coal. The bulk coal, and especially this brand so far, gives a much cleaner-tasting smoke.
  4. Deals Section?

    How about a separate section just for vendor deals and specials? That way, before we place an order, we can see if any vendor is offering a special that we can take advantage of. Thanks.
  5. Weekly Dc/nova Area Meetup.

    I'd be interested in a DC-area meet-up. I can recommend a few shisha places around here. My favorite is Lebnan Zaman in the Tysons area of VA. Consistently good shisha and great food. There are also a cluster of shisha cafes in the Skyline area of VA - Prince, Oasis, Aladdin. Some in downtown DC as well. They all have their pros and cons and cater to different clientele. I can also recommend some Arabic importing stores in the area where you can buy hookah supplies if you're interested. Keep me posted.
  6. The Healthiest Hookah Smoke?

    What about hoses? I saw the dissection photos of the rusty coil inside the "washable" hose. Ecch! I use a washable hose, and now I'm wondering. What about using a hose made of vinyl tubing from Lowe's, as someone did on this board? Any potential problems there?
  7. After reading the discussion about dyes in Starbuzz tobacco, I began to wonder -- if someone wanted to smoke shisha but keep it as healthy as possible, what is the optimum configuration? What type of hookah base, hose, bowl, coals, tobacco, filters, would produce the least amount of chemicals or harmful byproducts? Would be interested to read everyone's opinions on this.
  8. Could some of you knowledgeable shisha experts please answer a few questions for me? 1) Why does the top layer of tobacco burn against the foil sometimes? I leave a gap, I make sure the tobacco isn't packed down, I use the foil shiny-side down, and I wait until the 3K coal turns grey. I even reposition it so it doesn't get too hot in one spot. But still, sometimes it burns and has a terrible taste. What am I doing wrong? 2) Why do some people put ice in the bowl? 3) I use the same tobacco at home (Nakhla strawberry) as the shisha cafe I go to, and I clean my shisha after every use. But their shisha always tastes better and sweeter than mine. I can never get my shisha at home to taste that good. Why? 4) I run hot water through my hose after each use to clean it. Is that correct, or is there a better way? How long do you recommend using a hose before replacing it? Is one type of hose material better than another? 5) Lastly, I would like to know more about nicotine filters for shishas. Are they one-size-fits-all? Where do they attach? Thanks so much for your answers.