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There are now over 50 Black Bear Diner restaurants in the Western United States, and the newest outlet - as of this writing - in Merced, California, opened in early October, 2011.  When a new restaurant opens in Merced, it's a "big deal," and when we attempted to visit "The Bear" in late October, the line of hungry patrons waiting to enjoy breakfast snaked out the front door and into the parking lot.  So during my next visit to Merced, on Wednesday, December 21, 2011, we finally got to enjoy a fine breakfast at Merced's Black Bear Diner.


Photo:  Merced's Black Bear Diner is located in modern, super attractive building, close to busy Highway 99, and offers lots of free parking.  When you dine at "The Bear," you'll enjoy lots of fine food in a fun, bear-themed atmosphere.


Photo:  Black Bear Diner was quite busy on this Wednesday morning in late December, and I'm always a sucker to snap a photo of the breakfast counter - I love breakfast - and the staff hard at work.  The dining room carries the bear theme, and there are bear photos, carving and other bear stuff everywhere, except in this photo!!!!  How did I miss that?  There is even a small gift shop that sells, you guessed correctly, bear-themed merchandise.


Photo:  Our friendly server, Stephanie, brings my order of chicken fried steak, and Matthew's BIGFOOT chicken fried steak breakfast to our table.  Stephanie was very friendly, offered great service with a smile, and kept our coffee cups full.


Photo:  My son, Matthew, felt a bit hungry today, so he ordered a breakfast of BIGFOOT chicken fried steak and eggs from the "Hungry Bear" menu.  This breakfast was HUGE, as it had four biscuits and gravy, three eggs, a mound of country red diced potatoes, and a one pound chicken fried steak, covered with gravy.  Matthew gave it the ol' college try, and was able to eat most of it.


Photo:  I ordered a breakfast of chicken fried stead and eggs, from the "Black Bear Standards" section, and the menu states that this is their number one selling breakfast.  I can believe that statement, as this breakfast was as good as it gets.  Note the diced red and green peppers in the country red diced potatoes.


Photo:  The Rench family diners, from left to right:  Matthew, Elizabeth, Margie, Michael and Eric.  Our friendly server, Stephanie, was gracious to take the photo.

I have a tendency to avoid chain restaurants, especially for breakfast, but nothing is etched in stone, and I make the exception when it comes to Black Bear Diner, as the place is comfortable, spacious, the people are friendly, the food is great, the price is reasonable, and you'll ALWAYS leave with a full stomach and a smile on your face. The Merced restaurant lives up to everything "The Bear" stands for, you can't go wrong enjoying a fine meal at Black Bear Diner in Merced.

Black Bear Diner
1435 "V" St.
Merced, CA 95340
209 383-9600

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