Best cheap fare (retired cat.)
- 1251 Williston Road, South Burlington, VT, 05403
Al’s French Frys has been around since the late 1940s, when it boasted an open counter and a backdrop of farmland. Now, 60 years later, the black-and-white-tiled joint — where the golden-brown fries are sold by the cup, pint or quart — is famed well beyond the Greater Burlington area: Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, is one professed aficionado.
Dishing it up at the heavily attended Champlain Valley Fair doesn’t hurt the frite cred, either. There, numerous staffers keep hungry folks filled to the gills with corn dogs, burgers and ’taters. Plus, in a town with few late-night eats, Al’s stays open until midnight on Friday and Saturday.
With its cherry-red booths, Al’s feels pleasantly old-timey, and the prices follow suit. You can get a pepper steak for $1.73, a hot dog for $1.29 and a quart of “frys” for $3.68. Like your spuds to bite back? Give ’em a spritz of vinegar from a spray bottle kept on the table.
2008 Runner-up: New World Tortilla