Very close to Perpignan, by the Mediterranean Sea, you will find an old Roman city called Narbonne. Our day in Narbonne was very special as it was dedicated to one French national treasure, with a name that says it all: Les Grands Buffets de Narbonne.
Imagine a buffet-style restaurant offering only exceptional products such as oysters, all kinds of seafood, foie gras, fine meat cuts, and... the world's largest collection of cheese, featuring 111 different cheeses! All of this, all-you-can-eat, for 53 euros. It's worth mentioning that this place needs to be booked months in advance, especially in the evenings and on weekends. Needless to say, the experience quickly turns into a huge food feast, under the sly words of Rabelais written above the kitchen: "Fay ce que voudras" ("Do as you wish").
Typical criticisms of buffet-style restaurants often address the food's quality, and I must say that there are goods and bads in Les Grands Buffets de Narbonne, although the quality is pretty good on average. The quality of the cheese, seafood, and foie gras (if you choose to eat it) is excellent. Some chefs will also prepare very tasty meat cuts for you.
However, some of the pre-made meats and vegetables, as well as the appetizers, did not taste as fresh and were just 'okay'. More importantly, we were a bit disappointed by the desserts. Although there was a plentiful variety, they generally lacked authenticity and taste, except maybe for Stephen who really enjoyed the extensive ice cream selection by trying every available flavor. You will also find decent crêpes flambées.
Overall, it was a very good experience, except for the substantial stomach ache that followed. As frustrating as it may be, we definitely learned that it's impossible to try everything. But we will come back.