Quest for good, cheap eats at the Champlain Valley Fair

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ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. (WCAX) He's part food fanatic, part bargain hunter, Keith McGilvery went to the Champlain Valley Fair to look for culinary bargains under three bucks.

Even the pickiest of eaters can find something affordable at the Champlain Valley Fair. "We have everything from cookie dough, to you can get a salad at the fair," said the fair's Shawn Quinn.

But getting your favorites on a budget can be tough. If you're looking for a deal, try stopping by Tuesday through Thursday for midweek madness. "It gives our vendors the opportunity to put their main dish -- or main event -- out there to people and have them try that," Quinn said.

Participating vendors offer up a popular menu item for just three bucks, and at some spots that means a more than 50-percent savings.

Donna Fredette is visiting from Plattsburgh and went straight for the Sausage Shack for the hot dog and fries. "This was a great deal. You've got onions and peppers on a bun, and a large amount of fries -- wonderful deal," Fredette said.

"If you bought them separately you'd be paying $6.50, so it is a $3.50 savings combined together," said the shack's Curt Echo.

The folks at Melt It are serving up their signature grilled cheese, showcasing the local flavors they say set them apart. "It's a value. It helps us get people in here for a three dollar sandwich. The quality is the same, just a little smaller," said Melt It's Jeremy Morrison.

The team at Berda's food truck is offering up it's $6 duck fat fries for half the price. Owner Cory Charles says it's the right thing to do. "It's Vermont, it's the fair, it's the right thing to do. We always want to support local people. People like to support us because we serve local produce and grass fed stuff, so why not give it back," he said.

The chefs at Dale Boca are hoping you'll give Argentinian food a try. They are offering up a number of $8 dishes for -- you guessed it -- $3. "It is something different we're bringing to the fair. It's not Friday. Normally that's what you find at the fair, and the rice bowl contains a little bit of all the Argentinian flavors," said Dale Boca's Javier Zinko.

The hope is that the effort can help boost business. And if Donna Fredette has her way, she'll be making more than one stop on her food tour through the fair. "I'm going to look around, and I certainly will -- I'm hoping they have one at the maple tent.