Saunter along the renovated pedestrian spaces bordering the Canal de la Robine in Narbonne and you'll find a variety of restaurants vying for your business. We've tried a few. We have a few more to try. But the other day, about a block off the Canal on the Les Halles side, off the beaten track and out of view of the Canal, we came upon the Auberge des Jacobins. We're glad that we did.
The Auberge is a small space, just a few tables outdoors on the sidewalk, about three tables indoors in the shade looking out, and some tables up a few steps in a room in the back that we didn't inspect. On a midweek day, having arrived a bit after noon for lunch without a reservation, the trade kept the single waitress hopping. But she was attentive and timely. And when we finished, as busy as she was, she was happy to spend some time chatting with the Americans.
We started with small salads, anchovy and smoked duck and chevre chaud. Three of our party of four went for the plat of the day, a chunk of fresh cod, lightly breaded with a parsley sauce, accompanied by potatoes pureed with artichoke. All properly done and well priced at 9 euros. I had the duck breast with frites. The duck had been grilled hot and fast and was just right. The frites could have been crisper but serviceable. For dessert, I had a loose custard with a burnt crust adorned with raspberries. Hot and tasty. The brioche pain perdue was a real hit.
With two demis of wine (Too expensive, but isn't it always?) and coffee at the finish, the tab just broke 100 euros. Just fine for a leisurely meal. So...
Better than average. Good but not outstanding.
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