As a former Texan who enjoys a little heat in my food, I'm pretty frustrated trying to order spicy cuisine here.
Last night, my partner and I got the Ibiza bocadillo at Meza on Capitol Hill, which comes advertised thusly: "Fresh and spicy like this island in the south of Spain, a sandwich of seared scallops, jalapeños, lettuce, and fresh garlic aioli." Our waiter even warned us that it was spicy and we assured him that we knew and wanted that.
It had no discernible heat! None.
I even picked out one of the alleged jalapeños and ate it separately. Zip. I've gotten more kick from certain sweet peppers. Where on earth do they find capsaicin-free jalapeños?
This has happened to us at a variety of restaurants in Seattle. I routinely order "5 stars" at Indian, Thai and other Asian restaurants (and re-assure them that I really mean it), in order to get heat that would be a 1 or 2-star level in Texas or D.C.
WTF? Who taught all the restaurants that we're a bunch of spice wimps?
And any tips for getting the heat you need in this town?