SoMinn Restaurant Review: Preston’s Branding Iron – Still a Going Concern

June 24, 2019

The Branding Iron Supper Club, which had served southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa for decades, closed its doors earlier this year. A circa 50-year Preston mainstay, the panoramic-view establishment has been revived and is now being directed by new owners Dale and Becky Koch.

After 56 combined years as employees at the restaurant, Becky says she and Dale are still waiting for their new roles to sink in. “Never in our wildest dreams did we ever think we would own the Branding Iron Supper Club. Dale’s dream was to have a restaurant someday…we just never imagined it would be the Branding Iron!” Becky exclaimed. The Kochs have made some minor changes, such as new lighting outside, removing the western border in the bar area and some paintings, but no drastic changes have been made. “Pretty much what people used to see is what they are going to see,” said Dale. Future plans include outdoor seating with a patio on the south side, overlooking the valley. “I would like to dig it into the hill and add a retaining wall, so it’s lower than the dining area and won’t block the view for people dining,” explained Dale. Koch’s plan is to start construction this summer.

There are not a lot of changes to the menu. The chef salad has been added back and macaroni & cheese is a new addition for the kids. Featuring many of the good, all-time favorites, Becky and Dale present an awesome, comprehensive menu.

Specials: (Tuesday) Ribeye; (Wednesday) Fish Fry; Batter Fried or Boiled, served with coleslaw; add salad bar $2.95; (Thursday) Signature BBQ Ribs four or seven, served with homemade BBQ sauce; (Friday) Batter Fried Cod, each additional piece $2.95; New York Strip, (Saturday Evening) Prime Rib, 12 oz, 16 oz, House Special $29.95, served with Au Jus; (Sunday Noon) Chef’s Choice of the Day $13.95; served with a vegetable, mashed potatoes and gravy, salad bar and coffee, tea, milk or pop; (Sunday Evening) Walleye Pike batter fried or broiled; New York Strip.

Appetizers: onion rings, full or half order, hand-dipped in homemade batter, cooked to perfection. Shrimp Cocktail, five succulent shrimp, served chilled with shredded lettuce, cocktail sauce and crackers; Wisconsin White Cheese Curds, full or half order, made with a light delicate homemade batter; Loaded Nachos, add beef taco meat $2; Fajita Chicken $3; nacho chips topped with all of your favorite toppings: cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, black beans, green peppers, onions, black olives, sour cream and salsa. Haystack Onion Rings, full or half order; very thin-sliced onions, piled high with a thin golden-brown crisp. Chicken Wings Basket with fries; bone-in or boneless wings served with BBQ, chipotle or buffalo sauce; served with celery and ranch dressing; Batter Fried Mushrooms full or half order; fresh mushrooms hand-dipped in homemade batter. Frog Legs, four or eight; a delightful batter fried treat. Chicken Strips & French Fries.

Sandwiches, Salads, Wraps: served with choice of baked potato, French fries, green beans, or long grain and wild rice. Burgers and Sandwiches served on a premium bun. Add salad bar $2.50, Hamburger or Cheese Burger; Juicy burger grilled to perfection, California Burger; hamburger with lettuce, tomato, onion and mayonnaise; Bacon Cheese Burger; juicy burger grilled to perfection with American cheese and crispy bacon, Jalapeño Burger; topped with Jalapeños, cheddar cheese, and crispy bacon; Mushroom Swiss Burger; sliced mushrooms and Swiss cheese; Triple Cheese Burger; Swiss, American, and pepper jack cheese; Dave’s Burger; blackened burger with Cajun onions, pepper jack cheese, serviced with jalapeño sauce; Reuben (Lunch only) corned beef topped with sauerkraut on grilled marble rye bread served with thousand island dressing; BLT (Lunch only), bacon, lettuce and tomato; Turkey Burger; with lettuce, onion, tomato, and horseradish sauce; BBQ Pork Sandwich; sliced center cut chops grilled with our signature BBQ sauce; Fish Sandwich; hand-dipped cod fillet with lettuce and tartar sauce on the side; Grilled Chicken Club; grilled chicken with Swiss cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise; Chicken Fillet; grilled or battered; Grilled Cheese; Swiss, American, and pepper jack cheese; Crispy Chicken BLT Wrap; chicken strips, choice of ranch or peppercorn dressing, bacon, lettuce, cucumber, onion and green pepper; Fajita Chicken BLT Wrap; grilled fajita chicken breast, choice of ranch or peppercorn dressing, bacon, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion and green pepper.

Salads: Chef Salad; a bed of lettuce served with ham, cheese, cucumbers, green peppers, tomatoes, olives, onions and a boiled egg; Chicken Oriental Salad; crispy chicken, Mandarin oranges, tomatoes, cucumbers, almonds, and oriental noodles; Taco Salad; a bed of lettuce served with grilled seasoned ground beef, cheese, black olives, onions, green peppers and tomatoes in a tortilla bowl. served with salsa and sour cream; Chicken Fajita; a bed of lettuce served with grilled fajita chicken breast, cheese, black olives, onions, green peppers and tomatoes in a tortilla bowl; served with salsa and sour cream.

Lunch Entrees: served with choice of baked potato, French fries, green beans, or long grain and wild rice. All entrees include a bread basket. add salad bar $2.95, Large Gulf Shrimp; five or six batter fried or broiled; Atlantic Cod; batter fried Two $9.50 | One $7.75, Broiled Two $9.95 | One $8.25; Sirloin Dinner Steak; BBQ Pork Ribs, four ribs; Hamburger Steak; 10 oz. ground beef hand patted and grilled to perfection; Beef Shish-Ka-Bob; tender pieces of beef with onions, mushrooms and peppers; Chick-Ka-Bob; tender pieces of chicken with onions, mushrooms and peppers; Ham Steak; smoked ham grilled to perfection; Hamburger Steak Plate; 7 oz. broiled ground sirloin, served with cottage cheese and slice of tomato; Chicken Plate; grilled chicken fillet served on a bed of rice with slices of tomato.

Kids Menu: kids age 12 and under; includes choice of French fries, baked potato or salad bar, and beverage. Meal $5.95 | Salad Bar only $4.50, Hamburger, Cheeseburger, Grilled Cheese, Hot Dog, Chicken Strips (two), BBQ Ribs, Cod (one), or Mac & Cheese.

“This is a place where friends can meet and families can dine together…a place to have a wonderful time and enjoy the view…a place where memories and new friends are made”— Dale & Becky. (1100 Circle Heights Dr.; Preston, MN; 507-765-3388); Open Tue. – Thu.; 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. – Fri. / Sat.; 11:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. – Sun. 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; Mon. Closed (


By Pat Garry, Contributing Writer

SouthernMinn Scene | |
115 5th Street West Northfield, MN 55057