Eating lunch when you're on the road, far from home, is always a crapshoot, especially if you hate the national fast food chains. We often wish for a nice independent restaurant but can't always find one. The helpful signs on the interstates, warning you of impending food options, must cost a lot of money because you rarely see local places listed.
If you're ever driving on I-26 through South Carolina at lunchtime, I heartily recommend Bill and Fran's at exit 74 in Newberry. We discovered this place several years ago en route to a favorite vacation spot on the coast, and have stopped there many times.
It's one of those restaurants that was shiny and new thirty years ago and hasn't changed much since. Including the prices.
One of the things we love about Bill and Fran's is that when you order a sandwich you get a sandwich -- not a huge 2000-calorie plate with french fries and two meals worth of food that you either struggle to finish or leave large parts of behind.
Coming back home we found ourselves on a new stretch of road -- I-75 in south Georgia -- and no clue as to where to eat. We heeded the advice of a billboard and found ourselves at Sonny's BBQ at exit 18 in Valdosta. Apparently there are several Sonny's in this part of the world so you might find one elsewhere.
In contrast to Bill and Fran's minimal food, Sonny's serves you a big plateful, but we found it eminently eatable. We decided to chow down at lunchtime and basically skip dinner.
We both ordered the pulled pork barbeque plate, which was a delicious pile of food, and had fun trying out the four different sauces.
For what it's worth, we'd go to either of these places again, very happily. If you find yourself on one of these roads, you could do worse.