Best Of 2006

Best Hookah Lounge: Meridian Hookah Lounge

Meridian is located in a strip mall near USF, and inside the only illumination is provided by a couple of black lights on the ceiling. Half-round, black velvet couches line the walls, providing little wombs of dark and smoke. The kids who run the joint know their hookah, confidently recommending flavors and mixes and getting your smoke going in less than 10 minutes. If you like the smoothness of an iced hookah, they’ll even hookah you up with that. On Thursdays, a live belly dancer snakes through the smoke to traditional Middle Eastern music, and on weekends a DJ plays an eclectic mix of slow-groove music. There’s no smoking regular cigs, but why bother when 10 bucks will get you all the sweet smoke you want. 11404 N. 56th. St., Suite 20, Temple Terrace, 813-569-7701. www.usdhookah.com