We're making our annual holiday journey from the Bay Area to Los Angeles on I-5. In-N-Out Burger has been our lunch stop for many years, but are there any other fast, chow-worthy options on (or just off) that dismal stretch of highway? Can't deal with the lines at Harris Ranch.
Harris Ranch is about it - but I'm surprised at your comment about lines... I've never had to wait.
stop at Gustine, just south of Patterson, for some good deli sandwiches, and on weekends, BBQ's chicken and tri-tip. 70-odd handmade sausages, both fresh cured and frozen to suit any taste. Friendly folks in a friendly little town. Real traditional Portugese linguisa.
Take the Gustine exit, travel east about 5 mintues and turn left onto the highway that runs east through town. Turn left just past the school and at the next stop sign is Wolfsen's. A real valley gem.
I would recommend Debbie's Place in Avenal. They have the best burgers around - better than In n Out. They are located on the main drag at Skyline Blvd and 5th Avenue in Avenal. From I-5, take Hwy 269 exit south 5 minutes over the hill into Avenal. It is about halfway between SF and LA.
Another option would be in Buttonwillow, a Mexican place (Tita's, iirc) gets raves, there's also an Indian place nearby. A search on this board should produce a number of threads.