You should know the Arno’s story by now. Arnaud Carre’s butcher-slash-eatery opened at the end of 2015 sparking a weeks-long waiting list for its dry-aged local beef grilled up in a boisterous setting not unlike a Ladprao beer pub. That was followed in Dec 2016 by this oh-so-tiny venture all about burgers. Set on the corner of Narathiwas Soi 18/1, not too far from the office mecca of Chong Nonsi, the cube-like brick building is a no-frills diner set-up with both counter and table seating.
From an open kitchen a half-dozen staff buzz about taking orders and flipping patties. Here, you’ll find the same beef used at the butcher shop ground fresh daily. Stuffed inside a house-made fluffy bun, the patty of the classic American-style burger (200g/B220, 300g/B330 or double/B390) comes juicy at rare or medium rare and topped with either sharp American or blue cheese. Made from genuinely good produce, these are some straight-up solid burgers you’d be loath to leave off a list of Bangkok’s best. Better yet, those prices also include your choice of mixed salad, French fries or curly fries (you’re a fool not to plump for the latter—just look at all the tables around you!).
There are other proteins like pork, portobello mushroom and chicken teriyaki, as well as more “creative” specialties like “The French” (B350), where the patty is mixed with steak tartare ingredients. The Philadelphia cheesesteak (B220), however, is a dry and disappointing mix of sliced beef with only the slightest smear of blue cheese and scattering of confit onion. You can also sample some steak from Arno’s Eatery here, just don’t expect the same selection. At B400 for a 200g strip loin and B450 a tenderloin, you can’t really fault this beef except for perhaps a slight lack of seasoning. This only highlights Arno’s secret weapon, a trio of flavor-packed sauces: pepper, jim jaew and a Thousand Islands-indebted offering.
With great beef, the burger quality here isn’t in doubt. But it’s the other half of Arno’s name we take issue with: beer—or the lack of it. Our last couple of visits were met with a fridge of soft drinks (despite Duvell and Verdett signs plastered everywhere) and a suggestion to BYOB. That may put a dent in your Friday night plans, but there are still some nice lunch deals to be had (from B220 for a burger, side and soft drink).