Best Late-Night Hookah Scene (2004)
Wait until late, 11 p.m. or even later, then come to the Jasmine Cafe in what's left of the old downtown in Richardson on Main Street (Belt Line Road east of Central Expressway). A mainly Middle Eastern crowd, salted with whatever you call non-Middle Easterners, gathers over thick, sugared Turkish coffee and Turkish Delight candies. The hookah pipes begin to bubble and brew (tobacco in the bowls). You can buy your own hookah for $40 to $100. The sound system plays hits like "Habena," "Toutah" and "Me Alli We Oltelu." In the pale light of parking lots, backs of commercial buildings soften into outlines that could be walls of sun-dried brick. Chatter and laughter in several languages including English continue into the wee hours. The air is cool. Finally, somebody knows how to live in this hot, hot place.