On the marshy plains of the Carmague in southern France, where cowboys and cattle still roam, sits a most remarkable restaurant with a most unremarkable name: Chez Bob. Chez Bob, you say? Yes, that’s right—while at first blush it may seem as French-sounding as Freedom Fries, Chez Bob (apparently the nickname of the affable owner, who cooks and entertains alongside his equally ebullient wife) is as Gallic as it gets, a rustic farmhouse complete with sturdy wooden beams and decorated with antique furniture and French pop memorabilia such as movie posters from the 1960s.
About a 20-minute taxi ride from Arles, this monument to Provence-style barbecue (if that’s not an actual sub-genre, it should be) offers up the finest in fresh seasonal vegetables and herbs from the region, which serve as superb supporting actors to the stars of the show, huge cuts of game and domesticated meats hunted from the surrounding lowlands including duck (the comfit was so good that we ordered seconds) and the famed Carmague bull. These are grilled Medieval-style in a giant hearth over blazing-hot wood coals on iron racks, which reinforces the feeling that you’re a guest enjoying a banquet straight out of the Game of Thrones. One word of advice: while the price of admission is surprisingly reasonable—roughly 80USD per person with wine sans roundtrip taxi fare to and from town—bring enough cash with you to cover the bill just in case the credit card terminal is “on the fritz” that particular night :/