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The Branding Iron, Merced, CA

The Branding Iron

3.8
3.8
13 Reviews
$31 to $50
Steakhouse

The Branding Iron (BI), located in Merced, California, is known for high-quality fresh meat selections prepared by award-winning chefs with over 100 years of experience collectively. The restaurant honors the history of the ranching with its name, the iconic neon sign of a cowboy branding a calf, and its decor. The facility at the BI includes a main dining room, a bar with intimate dining area, and a private lounge. The BI is also set up to host banquets and large events. Our Signature dishes includes a Spanish soup, Bone-in Rib-eye and a 16-ounce rancher's cut of Prime rib.

Make a reservation

2 people

June 2022
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7:00 PM


Dining areas

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Cuisines

    Steakhouse, Seafood, Steak

  • Hours of operation

    Tue–Sat 4:30 pm–8:30 pm

  • Phone number

    (209) 722-1822

  • Dress code

    Formal Attire

  • Neighborhood

    Merced

  • Cross street

    Between M St. & O St.

  • Parking details

    Private Lot

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Indoor Fireplace, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 13 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

3.8
3.8 based on recent ratings
  • 3.7Food
  • 4.3Service
  • 4Ambience
  • 3.4Value

NoiseQuiet

Loved For

  • Fresno / San Joaquin Valley

    Special Occasion

  • Fresno / San Joaquin Valley

    Vibrant Bar Scene

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  1. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Palm Springs

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 9, 2022

    overall3food4service5ambience4

    Mothers Day

  2. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 22, 2022

    overall3food3service3ambience4

    Disappointing. Gazpacho recipe changed for the worse, zero water refills.

  3. B

    Bobw

    Central Coast

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 9, 2022

    overall2food2service4ambience4

    We ordered prime rib which was said to be prime quality. When our order arrived and we started to eat we discovered it was not prime quality. The meat was dry, tough, tasteless and about 1/2 inch thick. We didn’t even finish eating it. For what we paid the meat was far from meeting the price. We were eager to try this restaurant after the change in ownership and will seriously if we will return.

  4. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 24, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    Great!! Food was amazing! Service was amazing!!!

  5. JT

    JustineT

    Tahoe

    4 reviews

    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on March 23, 2022

    overall4food3service4ambience4

    Everyone walked away thinking it was “good” not great. A bit over priced for what you get but the Wait staff was nice. The food overall was decent but nothing astonishing. Probably won’t be my go to choice in the future

  6. BR

    BonnaR

    San Joaquin

    11 reviews

    4.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on March 18, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience4

    Love the service by the duo of Marilyn and Christina. Was very disappointed in the sauce for the artichoke hearts. Artichoke hearts served on some wilted shredded carrots and something. Then two curled up pieces of radicchio. Really needs help. Garlic bread good, Steak was excellent. Brussels sprouts good but too large a serving. VERY disappointed they took baked potatoes off the menu. One of the main reasons I went there. Still would recommend. Urge new management to bring back baked potatoes.

  7. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    2 reviews

    1.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on March 9, 2022

    overall1food1service5ambience4

    The wait service experience was great and I tipped my waiter accordingly (50% of my total bill). The food experience was terrible. The price of my entree was $64. I ordered the 8oz prime rib. The meat was satisfactory, but the rest of the meal was inedible. The Cesar salad contained romaine that had overt pink rib. Given all the issues with romaine in the last few years, being presented with lettuce that isn't fresh is less than ideal. The vegetable of the day was Brussels sprouts (the only vegetable option). They were served hard; borderline raw. The mashed potatoes were runny, gummy, overworked, and full of starch. The optional sides were limited to mashed potatoes, rice, or fries. This is the only prime rib restaurant I've been to in 20 years that doesn't offer a baked potato, scalloped, or specialty potato dish side with their prime rib. The other two tables that sat after me also attempted to order baked potatoes to their disappointment. I ordered a glass of wine shortly after I was seated, which was then later comped because the bar tender didn't pour it until the end of my meal, (30 minutes after I placed my drink order). I definitely expect to have wine poured table side when in a restaurant setting spending more than $30 on an entree. I decided to try this place due to the overwhelmingly positive Google reviews, but I must assume they've experienced personnel changes that have impacted the preparation and quality of their food. I did speak to a manager about my experience before departing, but the outcome wasn't promising enough for me to consider returning. Essentially I was made to feel like my experience wasn't valid. Finally, I refused a credit for my meal. It seems unfair to punish the dedicated wait staff for the misgivings of their management, kitchen, and bar staff. Needless to say I will not be returning here and recommend you think twice before eating here.

  8. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Joaquin

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 26, 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience1

    Seriously. It was shocking how bad the service was. 30 minutes to get the first drinks served it was an hour to get the last person their drink. I went into the bar to see if it was really busy. Nope! Two people in there. We had to get our own water jug to fill our water glasses because nobody ever came by to see if we needed more water. We had to ask for bread, they brought 6 pieces for a table of 7. The food, if the dish wasn’t terrible it was just mediocre. And the price increase is way above what it should be for what you are getting. I hope the restaurant survives, because we need it in Merced and I can’t imagine not having the BI here. But they will need to get things figured out and quick.

  9. JG

    JoanG

    San Joaquin

    2 reviews

    1.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 25, 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience3

    Took our family to dinner, Branding Iron has a new owner. Sadly the food is not the same at all. Over priced, no taste and cold where it should be hot. Would not reccomend The Branding Iron to anyone.

  10. LF

    LocalFoodie

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 12, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4

    Not much has changed with the new owners which I appreciated. We were seated in a room in the back even though the main dining hall was pretty much empty, but I am sure there was a reason for that. The wait staff was amazing as they always are and the food was yummy.

  11. ES

    ElizabethS

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 11, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5

    I love the history of the Branding Iron. The food was made perfectly and I definitely will be returning.

  12. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Joaquin

    2 reviews

    1.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 30, 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience1

    I booked a group of 7 for my birthday. I had relatives come from out of town and was SO excited to share the Branding Iron with them. However, once I got to the restaurant the hostess informed me that they do not take OpenTable reservations. (Then why am I able to make a reservation on OpenTable?!) They turned us away and I had to scramble to find somewhere else. Totally ruined my birthday!

  13. BB

    BrendaB

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 23, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience3

    Loved the service and we’re so happy to have new owners. The previous owners were never friendly or welcoming. We stopped eating at BI because the owner was downright rude at times. Now there seems to be an atmosphere of true hospitality.

FAQs

The Branding Iron offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (209) 722-1822.

The Branding Iron is rated 3.8 stars by 13 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

June 2022
Sun
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
7:00 PM


Google Map for The Branding Iron

640 W 16th St Merced, CA 95340-4721

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Cross street

    Between M St. & O St.

  • Neighborhood

    Merced

  • Hours of operation

    Tue–Sat 4:30 pm–8:30 pm

  • Cuisines

    Steakhouse, Seafood, Steak

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Dress code

    Formal Attire

  • Parking details

    Private Lot

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Indoor Fireplace, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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