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Guest Genie

Al Amir Lebanese Restaurant and Club on Evers in San Antonio, Tx.

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Guest Genie

Prices were excellent. "$5.99 per hookah pipe customers just wanting shisha." I assume this means they provide the hookah and the shisha, but their menu is confusing.

My aunt and I had dinner there Saturday night and I smoked a Nakhla Jasmine hookah. Our total was just over $30. I ordered an appetizer and a meal (that was more like a starter salad), she ordered a sampler meal. The tea alone was $4.99 for the pot, thought that was a bit pricey but it was very very good and they even threw some fresh mint in with the Darjeeling tea bags.

They used quick light coals, but they weren't horrible at all. Just wish the guy was watching me more so he could see how thin the smoke was. I looked over at him and his pipe was smoking up a storm... so I know he knew better.

I had to ask for a wind cover and then for another coal, which were brought quickly and with a smile. They never brought me tongs so I was having to flip my coal (singular, you notice) with my pocket knife and soup spoon.

The hookah wasn't set up great. Very little smoke, the flavor was okay but I could taste some ghosting rose from whoever smoked from it previously. It was just a cheap Mya hose. Hose tips were handed out with the hookah, I didn't have to ask for them. Not the best hookah I ever smoked in a lounge. But okay. Good flavor for 30 minutes, after that I was really struggling to get anything, just didn't have the heat.

Their hookah menu doesn't tell you what's what but the waiter (proprietor too, I think) was able to tell me exactly what I was ordering.

Connected to the lounge was their store where they carry an impressive variety of Al Amir, Nakhla, and other shishas. On one shelf there was quite a bit of marked down shisha. It was quite dusty and the boxes were beaten up a little. I asked if those were cheaper because they were older. He replied that, no, it was just because they were shipped internationally. Whatever. On another shelf were shiny new boxes with great prices. I bought one dusty box, and two new ones. Curious to see how that dusty box tastes!

They carried a wide variety of generic hookahs and coals I've never seen or heard of. I didn't buy any. They had a lot of hoses, nothing that looked modern. Nothing I particularly recognized, certainly nothing washable.

We left before the belly dancer started and the owner pouted. But, hey, it had been a long day.

Their belly dancer comes every Thursday and Friday night at nine. We left at nine and had been the only customers there. But as we were leaving several cars were pulling up.

The place was really clean and the food was very good. Not the biggest portions, I was still hungry when I got home, but that's okay. Several vegetarian items on the menu which made my aunt very happy but she said the nan tasted dry and stale and she barely touched it. I stuck to my baba ganoush (it was okay, nothing amazing, but seasoned nicely) and my gyro salad and didn't touch the bread. My aunt said the rice was okay, she loved the tabouleh.

I'll definitely go back, but not to eat. Just thought we paid a little much for the food we got. Look forward to smoking a hookah there again, but later in the evening when there are more customers and the belly dancer is at work--that's just too beautiful a thing to miss. And I might take my own hose, even at the risk of offending the owner. Didn't like tasting what someone else had smoked at all.

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