Stone Mill BBQ & Steakhouse in Broken Arrow is one of those places where I always find something that catches my eye that I didn’t notice previously.

It isn’t unique that way — The Spudder, Molly’s Landing and Fuddruckers are others that readily come to mind — but Stone Mill doesn’t have to take a back seat to any place in the decorations department. The food is pretty impressive, too, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

With wood walls, floors, rafters and thick tables, along with a good amount of native stone, it has a rustic, rural ambience, like, for instance, a stone mill. Most of the elaborate, life-size decorations are positioned on elevated lofts or hanging from the rafters.

Just a few of the highlights include a replica covered wagon, rifles and cowboy paraphernalia; a jungle room with an Indiana Jones-like character traversing a drawbridge; a sculpture of an American Indian on a horse next to giant arrowheads; tigers, horses and real elk and deer heads.

That’s in the main dining room. The separate lounge has a high-seas theme with pirate figures, a deep-sea diving helmet and a mural of a beach scene. Tables in both rooms, designed by owner Steve Ohman, have metal wagon wheels on the sides or rope pedestals. A double fireplace with mantels of split logs connects the lounge and main dining room.

It always seems clean, so I was thinking it must be a bit of a nightmare keeping everything dusted.

“It is a challenge, but a tall ladder and a Swiffer work pretty well,” Ohman said.

Though Stone Mill will celebrate its 15th anniversary in August, it never gets old checking out the décor. It never gets old checking out the barbecue and steaks, either.

On a recent visit, we had the 14-ounce rib-eye steak ($24.99) and a three-meat barbecue combo ($16.99).

The steak was cooked a touch over medium-rare and had a good, smoky, chargrilled flavor. The meat was juicy and well-marbled with a minimum amount of gristle.

It came with a garden salad and baked potato. We substituted the baked potato for Stone Mill potatoes. Our excellent server, Stormee, said the Stone Mill potatoes were like a potato casserole. We caught a vinegary edge to them and thought they tasted like a cousin to German potato salad.

The garden salad had a standard mix of lettuce, purple cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, shredded white and yellow cheeses and croutons. It came with a creamy, tasty ranch dressing.

For the three-meat combo, I chose pork ribs (baby backs also are an option), sliced brisket and bologna. The two long ribs were meaty, nearly falling off the bone and had enough fat to retain a natural flavor. The five slices of brisket were so tender they were close to being shredded. The four thick slices of bologna were fine, if not exceptional.

For sides, I chose standard fried okra and baked beans that were specked with a little corn and green onion. Two soft dinner rolls came automatically before the entrees arrived.

Based on previous visits, the hand-cut fries and onion rings are worthy sides, as well.

I was aware that employee Kara Waldroop prepares house-made ice cream, not to mention some baked goodies, and we decided to share a bowl of the flavor of the day — butter pecan ($3.99). What a good idea that was. The ice cream was loaded with pecans and had a terrific taste and texture. Flavors may change daily.

“The vanilla recipe has been in my family for 100 years,” Waldroop said.

The menu isn’t confined to just barbecue and steaks. Diners may choose shrimp, grilled salmon, catfish, appetizers, half-pound burgers, salads, soups, spuds and a variety of house-made desserts.

Ages 10 and younger or 60 and older may choose a “little chuckwagon” burger, small sandwich, chicken strips or two ribs with one side for $6.39 each.

Current specials include all-you-can-eat catfish with sides for $13.99 on Mondays, all-you-can-eat ribs with sides for $14.99 on Tuesdays, and two rib-eye dinners for $45.

Ohman said the “core of our people have been here quite a while,” and wife Debbie and son David still help out.

“When we started, I didn’t know we would still be at it 15 years later,” Ohman said. “It has been a challenge at times, but we have some loyal regulars, and we still are getting new people all the time.”

Scott Cherry

918-581-8463

scott.cherry@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @ScottCherryTW

Scene Writer

Scott is in his second tour of duty with the Tulsa World. He was a sports writer during his first stop. Since returning to the World in 1992, he has been the food writer and now restaurant critic and wine columnist. Phone: 918-581-8463