So here is what I've been thinking about for this year:
1) I am already religiously walking 10K per day but intend to add a weekday brief core and arm workout just to round things out a bit. I am many years past being concerned about a beach body or washboard abs but I do like to feel fit.
2) I intend to pick up my guitar which has been feeling lonely, on a daily basis, even for just 15 minutes (starting with a lot of scales until I get my fingers back).
3) I am going to put down the effing devices and turn off the effing TV and read...off of paper!
4) I plan to be more serious about my weekday vegetarian philosophy. Henceforth, Monday to Friday will also be a sugar, white flour, and white rice or pasta free zone. That is about the only diet and health extremism that I subscribe to (the Keto diet was recently declared to most unhealthy diet by a group of medical experts...real ones, not pseudo health practitioners). Also, I intend to put my money where my mouth is. I will be taking the responsibility of this platform (No, really! A lot of important people read this!) a little more seriously by exploring vegetarian and vegan restaurants and options more frequently. I have often repeated the idea (that I heard from someone else) that eating less meat is one of the best things that you can do for the planet. It is also one of the best things that you can do for your health, pocketbook, and for the sake of killing fewer other animals. So to that end....
Do Chay is a Vietnamese restaurant on a stretch of Kingsway with a lot of Vietnamese restaurants. To my knowledge, it is the only vegetarian Vietnamese restaurant in the area. The menu at Do Chay (which means roughly, vegetarian stuff) is based on the owner's experiences at a Vietnamese Buddhist temple.
DC was a little too busy to be a Buddhist Temple but we picked up the vibe anyway.
We started with Glass Dumplings which have been garnering a lot of attention from foodies (I think everything here has been getting attention). Inside the banana, leaf wrappers were tapioca dumplings with jicama and mung beans. Served with roasted peanuts and onions and a vinegar dip, these were sublime. They were subtle with a springy (weird word, I know) tender texture.
Next up was the Lotus Stem Salad. This was also wonderful with more of the peanuts and onions, crisp veggies, wood ear mushrooms, lotus stems and what I believe was deep-fried seitan. All served with an oil and vinegar dressing possibly with soy and ish sauce (evidently fish sauce for the vegan).
Desert Island Noodles were served with a coconut sauce and a perfect vegan meatball which I would not be able to deconstruct (perhaps seitan again). Shredded tofu, tomato, peanuts and plantain are also contributors. All of the dishes served here were artfully arranged and beautiful but the tiny slices of star fruit in descending order of size truly impressed us.
Finally, there was the sweet and spicy bowl. Tempura broccoli and cauliflower were stars here and proved that a vegetarian restaurant can deep-fry things. Under the tempura were sauteed king oyster mushrooms. All served with rice and a chilli tomato sauce which was decidedly not spicy but sweet and definitely tasty.
The greatest compliment of all to Do Chay came from my 'less enthusiastic about vegetarian food' partner Marie, who declared that she would gladly have returned later for dinner! Not a huge place but probably with comfortable seating for 24 to 36 people, they were busy enough on Saturday at noon but we did not have to wait for a table. Our hosts were friendly and efficient as was the kitchen. We will definitely be back!
For what it's worth and for taking vegetarian food to a different level, we give Do Chay the coveted 5 out of 5!