Great Restaurants along I-20
In Arlington, Spring Creek BBQ is delicious. Chopped beef, all the sides, etc. They're on Cooper Street, North of the highway if I recall correctly. There's a Krispy Kreme in that stretch somewhere if you have a craving.
Also off I-20 (maybe a stop east past Cooper, is Mercado Juarez, a delicious Mexican restaurant with warm tasty salsa and wonderful Chicken Enchiladas Suizas.
J in DC
Okay, as a Texan, Spring Creek BBQ is not that good. In fact, it's one of the average ones. But, it is on I-20 and I suppose any recommendations are limited on your ability/ willingness to travel. Having said that, I prefer Angelo's and Raihead for BBQ, but they are both in Fort Worth and you'd have to take a detour.
As for Merccado Juarez, I've never been a fan of tepid salsa and it's not particularly good either. Better than what you might find in D.C., but less than average by our standards.
If you want good BBQ along I-20, exit on McCart Ave in Fort Worth and go south a mile or two. You'll see Cousin's BBQ on the right.
I don't rank it as high as Railhead, but it's good stuff... I like the ribs or beef brisket.
I agree with TexasToast -- Spring Creek is not that good. Cousin's has them beat by a mile.
Looks like I may need to retune my BBQ fork. I lived in Arlington for 18 years and used to love a place called Gaylen's and I think one called Homestead. Neither were near I-20. Next time I'm home though, Cousin's sounds good.
I'll stand by Mercado Juarez, my last several meals there were spot on. There are lots of other places I would recommend, but being literally on the I-20 access road, it fits the bill pretty well.
And as an aside I'd take most any Tex-Mex from home over MOST of what I can get here. Our standards are probably not as different as you think. But if you have a list of some Mex and Tex-Mex places, send 'sem my way. And if there are any near I-20, I bet our friend would take them.
What's your timeline?
Big Boys BBQ in Sweetwater, TX would fit the bill nicely if you're ready for lunch or dinner about 3 1/2 hours west of the DFW area. I'm not sure of the exact exit, but S'water is roughly 35 miles past Abilene, and the exit you want is the WalMart/Kmart exit. Turn left under the overpass, Big Boys is about 200 yards on your left. Try the ribs "their way" (basically sliced pork loin, and wonderful) and do NOT miss whatever dessert is recommended - the pies are all fabulous.
Avoid Bucks at the same exit for anything but their steaks, which are good, but not much of a bargain, all things considered. Their BBQ isn't anything at all worth talking about.
Exit on U.S. 59 North in Marshall. Go about 4 miles into town. Turn left at U.S. 80 and go about a tenth of a mile and look for Neely's Brown Pig on the left. Order two brown pigs. Put a bit of hot sauce on the sandwitches and eat. Repeat if necessary. Not your typical Texas BBQ, but a sandwich worth eating.
If you want some decent, though not trancedent Texas style BBQ, head back the otherway on 80 about the same distance past 59 and look for Bodacious BBQ on the same side of the road. Not in the same ball park as some of the central Texas BBQ shrines, but it will give 95+% of the Dallas/Ft. Worth places a run for their money. But I'd sugggest a brown pig or two before eating at Bodacious.