Though it’s now the oldest single-family owned barbecue restaurant in Oklahoma, the Shawnee Van’s Pig Stand wasn’t Van’s first barbecue shop. The family patriarch first began crafting his signature pork sandwiches and plates of ribs in 1928 and shared his recipes with family members as they opened up their own hubs throughout Oklahoma. More than 80 years later, Van’s descendants still grill up barbecue dinners and sandwiches with those signature recipes, that is, if they have taken the blood oath to keep them secret. Though they specialize in cuts of pig, the grill masters incorporate everything from brisket, turkey, chopped beef, and chicken into their dinners, pairing each meaty helping with two sides and a slice of texas toast. Sweet flavors, including sweet tea and pecan pie, cap off savory meals.
Big Daddy’s pins down hunger with a menu of hearty sandwiches, smoky meat platters, and lip-smacking sides. When combined with a brisket sandwich ($4.56), a baked potato loaded with cheese, bacon bits, butter, and ranch ($4.01) floods mouths with an unstoppable deluge of flavor. Appetites that lean toward the aquatic side can hook a scrumptious catfish dinner ($9.24), while feasters seeking other meats can order the Big Daddy’s Plate, which spreads out a trio of samplings from a roster that includes hot links, ribs, pulled pork, chicken, and turkey ($9.49). Both meals are flanked by your choice of two sides, such as baked beans and fried okra or coleslaw and hushpuppies. Mild, sweet, and hot homemade sauces help meaty morsels slide tastefully into tummies, and are also available by the bottle ($3.50 each). To close out the meal, diners can chew into a slice of sweet potato pie ($3.50) garnished with a pound of shrimp ($11.20) or cajun boudain ($9.29).
Pieces of split hickory tumble into the bottom of the smoker. On the racks above, chefs lay on freshly trimmed cuts of meat—including beef brisket, pork shoulder, and tenderloin—to braise for up to 12 hours in the velvety smoke. A veteran of the pipe-fabrication business who builds his own smokers in his spare time, Steve Ohman knew what he wanted when shopping for his two commercial smokers, which have anchored Stone Mill BBQ and Steakhouse since it opened in 2003.
But other aspects of the restaurant also bear his personal stamp. All of the menu's meats and seafood come spiced in Ohman's own blend of seasonings, and he built the restaurant's wood tables from scratch with the help of his wife and kids. The restaurant's rustic yet elegant decor of exposed wooden trusses, split-log furnishings, and a wagon-wheel-turned-chandelier complement the main dining space's stone double fireplace.
Big Daddy's All American BBQ satisfies carnivorous cravings with heaps of piping-hot barbecue and sandwiches from its extensive menu. Customers can stack Big Mama's plate ($8.24) with two selections from the dinner menu's 10-meat list, which includes pulled pork, Cajun boudin, and brisket, and then hunt the sides menu—bursting with fried okra, potato salad, and a sprawling roster of eats—for a harmonious backup duo to get the whole meal singing. A single meat plate ($6.74) also comes with two sides, as does the thrice-meated Big Daddy's plate ($9.49). Hungry guests and domesticated chupacabras can order meat by the pound, and most sandwiches ensconce a choice from the big ten between buns. An entire menu category dedicated to potatoes covers every one of its baked spuds, such as the single meat potato ($5.88), with cheese, bacon bits, butter, ranch dressing, signature seasoning, and punk-rock renditions of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
At Dickey's Barbecue Pit, cooks prepare a range of signature meats slow-smoked on-site and slathered with high-quality barbecue sauce. Guests can dig into Texas-style smoked beef brisket, lil' hoagie barbecue sandwiches, or a range of other hearty barbecued dishes. Family packs of meats and sides or full racks of ribs feed hungry crowds, and alternative dishes such as the smokehouse salad let diners mix savory brisket with fresh romaine lettuce.
In 1961, J.B. Wilson founded his own barbecue eatery and populated the menu with recipes of his own design. These recipes remained unchanged throughout the years, as did his signature welcome—greeting customers in a top hat and cane. When he fell ill in 2004, he passed the business’s reins to his close friend Amos Adetula. Afraid that J.B’s recipes would otherwise be lost forever, Amos graciously agreed to lead the restaurant into the future. His legacy now secure, Mr. Wilson passed away three days later.
Today, Amos still makes all the original sauces for the restaurant's ribs, brisket, and pork himself, including the sweet sauce that adorns the restaurant’s signature baked beans. Savory dishes complement sweet-potato or buttermilk pies, which the staff makes by hand from scratch each day. A number of longneck brews stands at the ready to cool diners’ tongues in the wake of smoked meats, hot baked potatoes, and periodic fire-breathing competitions. Inside the original location on Apache, large plasma televisions adorn the exposed log cabin–style walls, hanging above booths bedecked in the original black and red checkered style. Outside the eatery's confines, breezy outdoor seating around an original built-in concrete fire pit encourages frequent fresh-air feasts. When lovers of Wilson's require the food to come to them, culinary crews transport the eatery’s fare with full offsite catering services for events such as tailgate parties, where staffers set up and break down after the meal.