Contributor Tim Neville has spent years on the road finding off-the-grid destinations to write about for Outside. So when he says these are the most memorable meals he’s had after a day of adventures, that really means something.
The meals a world traveler can’t help but dream of
Tim Neville has been around the world and back, and like good travelers do, he made sure to try local cuisine at every stop. So we asked her to write about her favorite dishes and how you can try them too.
Mestia, Republic of Georgia
What: Dumplings and bazhe salad
Adventure Pairing: Paragliding
After a day of soaring in the Caucasus Mountains above Mestia, I went to Sun-Seti Café and ordered the khinkali meatballs and a salad with bazhe sauce, a miracle paste of crushed walnuts topped with blue fenugreek, cilantro and marigold. A guy at the next table started singing, and soon everyone else joined in. Nothing strange about that – Georgians love to sing at dinner.
Pyeongchang, South Korea
What: The bar
Adventure Pairing: Skiing or hiking
Shortly before the 2018 Winter Games kicked off, I spent a week skiing and exploring the area’s temples and barbecues. But it was the buffet at the InterContinental Alpensia Resort that I would go back to. Imagine a room the size of an airplane hangar, with dozens of stations displaying spicy, rich kimchi sundubu-jjigae (a tofu stew), hoeddeok (sweet pancakes), and so many jars of fermented vegetables that I think I overdid it.
What: Lamb peka
Adventure Pairing: scuba diving
A few years ago, I visited this Adriatic island to dive among the ancient amphorae that dot the seabed. Still wet, I drove to a spot between the towns of Vis and Komiza and found Rokis, a winery and family restaurant in a beautiful stone building. I sat under a colossal tree and devoured a bowl of peka, a rich stew of lamb with spices and carrots slowly cooked over an open fire in an outdoor kitchen.
What: Ful Mudammas, falafel, labneh
Adventure Pairing: Nile Cruise
In 2016, a few years after the Arab Spring rocked Egypt, I went to see if tourism was rebounding. This was not the case. I stuck around and found myself aboard a luxury cruiser on the Nile, the Oberoi Philae, who traveled between Luxor and Aswan. Every morning I sat on the upper deck and ate a plate full of falafel, full mudammas (a bean stew) and creamy labneh (strained yogurt), watching children play in the river and ancient villages and temples appear. I could eat this meal three times a day.
Ryukyu Islands, Japan
Adventure Pairing: island hopping
The Ryukyus stretch from southwestern Japan to Taiwan, and at the far north of the range is Okinawa, which resembles the Hawaii of Japan, with a different culture, music, and culinary tradition than the mainland. Here you order umibudo, a type of seagrass-like seaweed that is crunchy, shiny, and salty. It’s the closest thing you can get to taking a bite out of the ocean.