ST. PAUL— In between tortured coughs, Sarah Linsmayer came to the realization that the waitress’s question of “how spicy?” was offered with no qualifiers. There was no way to know just how spicy it was until she was openly weeping over the order of chicken pad thai. “Medium just felt like a good in-between choice,” offered Linsmayer. “I didn’t want to offend them and say mild, but oh geez, I never expected this many spices!”
“I’m just saying it would be nice to know on the menu if they’re not playing by Minnesota rules in the kitchen. At Noodles & Company I never have to specify, and I even added a shake or two of those red chile flakes to some alfredo once! Although that was clearly a mistake, those suckers pack a punch! Aunt Susie had warned me, and she’s always right.”
After Linsmayer borrowed the napkins from everyone at the table to deal with her unstoppably runny nose, she learned that not only was this pad thai not on the Minnesotan Spice scale, but that the restaurant serves a dish called Spicy Noodle. “Does that have it’s own scale, above this one? Yikes, that one might kill me!”
At press time, Linsmayer had decided to stop just smelling her food and ventured to take a bite.