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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

May 2022
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7:00 PM


Booked 7 times today

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

Menu

Starters

  • Ace-High Artichoke$10.00

    Hot off the broiler! (seasonal)

    • Fried Calamari$15.00

      Crunchy tubs & tentacles served with cocktail sauce

      • Onion Rings$9.00

        Served with our Big Gun Burger Sauce & Ranch Dressing

        • Chicken Wings$10.00

          Spicy or mild. Served with Ranch & Chipotle Sauce

          • Hand-Battered Coconut-Fried Prawns$20.00

            Simply put....these are special!

            Soups & Salads

            • Fresh Gazpacho

              Our FAMOUS Cold Soup served with Tortilla Chips

              • Cup$6.00
              • Bowl$10.00
            • Homemade Soup

              • Cup$6.00
              • Bowl$10.00
            • Fresh Green Salad

              Served with slices of red onion, black olives, pepperoncini, and your choice of dressing

              • Sm$6.00
              • Lg$10.00
            • Homemade Soup & Salad$12.50

              Bowl of Homemade Soup or Gazpacho & a Large Salad

              • Chicken Caesar Salad$15.00

                Sliced chicken breast with chopped romaine, grated Parmesan cheese, artichoke hearts, tossed with Caesar dressing & garnished with tomato slices, egg, & green olives

                Sandwiches

                • Big Gun Burger$15.00

                  Our Signature Burger: one-half pound of ground, choice beef smothered with grilled onions & mushrooms and topped with melted cheese, lettuce, tomato, and pickles. Placed between two toasted sourdough buns and served with a side of our spicy 1000 Island dressing

                  • Tri-Tip French Dip Sandwich$14.00

                    Tender Tri-Tip slices stacked on a sourdough French roll with a cup of hot Au Jus

                    • Bacon Cheeseburger$14.00

                      The Simple Classic

                      • Mexicali Chicken Sandwich$14.00

                        Marinated Chicken Breast covered with Pepper-Jack Cheese and Avocado. Served on a French Roll with a side of spicy Chipotle sauce

                        Dinners

                        • Branding Iron Dinners

                          Include Entree; Vegetable Du Jour; Raspberry Freeze; and your choice of Baked Potato, Steak Fries, Sweet Potato Fries, or Rice Pilaf

                          • Make it a Deluxe Dinner!

                            Add Soup Du Jour or Gazpacho plus a Dinner Salad for Only $8!

                            Signature Prime Rib

                            • Signature Prime Rib

                              This "Specialty of the House" is rubbed with our own 60 year-old recipe of herbs and spices, then roasted slowly in our Special Prime Rib Ovens. We carve each slice to your individual order to ensure it's flavorful and juicy when delivered to your table. Served with hot au jus & creamy horseradish...our Prime Rib has been voted "the Best Around"

                              • 8 Oz.$30.00
                              • 12 Oz.$36.00
                              • 16 Oz.$42.00

                            Succulent Steaks

                            • 12 oz. Ribeye Steak$36.00

                              Legendary cut of beef served with creamy horseradish sauce

                              • 8 oz. Filet Mignon$42.00

                                The most tender cut of beef. Served with bordelaise sauce

                                • 8 oz. Branding Iron Steak$25.00

                                  Tasty Flat Iron topped with Maitre d' garlic butter

                                  • 12 oz. Coffee-Rubbed Ribeye$38.00

                                    Don't let the word "Coffee" mislead you...this is the BEST marinated steak around! Quantity Limited Nightly

                                    • 12 oz. New York Steak$36.00

                                      King of Red Meat! Topped with Maitre d' garlic butter

                                      Seafood

                                      • Lobster Tail

                                        Amazing Lobster Tail served with lemon and drawn butter

                                        • Market
                                      • Grilled Basa Fillet$24.00

                                        Dipped in special batter and served with tartar sauce

                                        • Crunchy Prawns$22.00

                                          Served with cocktail sauce

                                          • Scampi$28.00

                                            Five large shrimp sauteed in garlic butter with parsley, capers, and Parmesan Cheese

                                            • Hand-Battered Coconut-Fried Prawns$28.00

                                              A B.I. Specialty served with spicy marmalade sauce

                                              Chicken

                                              • Chicken Piccata$24.00

                                                Tender chicken served in a delicate white wine sauce touched with lemon and peppered with capers

                                                • Chicken Enchiladas$18.00

                                                  A Merced Favorite!

                                                  • Teriyaki Chicken Breast$20.00

                                                    The simple classic

                                                    Vegetarian

                                                    • Vegetable Fettuccini Alfredo$16.00

                                                      Beverages

                                                      $2.75

                                                      • Iced Tea

                                                        • Pepsi

                                                          • Diet Pepsi

                                                            • Mug Rootbeer

                                                              • Sierra Mist

                                                                • Raspberry Iced Tea

                                                                  • Pink Lemonade

                                                                    • Milk

                                                                      • Hot Tea

                                                                        • Peerless Coffee

                                                                          Last updated: February 2, 2022

                                                                          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
                                                                          • 3.5Value

                                                                          NoiseModerate

                                                                          Loved For

                                                                          • Fresno / San Joaquin Valley

                                                                            Romantic

                                                                          • 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

                                                                          May 2022
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                                                                          7:00 PM


                                                                          Booked 7 times today
                                                                          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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