The top 5 ‘Leah Tries’ of 2023 includes a ‘redneck egg roll.’ For real.

The top 5 ‘Leah Tries’ of 2023 includes a ‘redneck egg roll.’ For real.

One of the highlights of our year was something called the "redneck eggroll" at the State Fair. (Screenshot via @cardinalandpine on TikTok)

By Leah Sherrell

December 13, 2023

From the NC State Fair to the Triad, our food feature series “Leah Tries” has chased down the best food trucks, restaurants, and dishes in the state. Here are the favorites of 2023.

I tried a lot of food this year for “Leah Tries”: Liver pudding, “redneck” egg rolls, and cheese infused with some of the hottest peppers in the world. 

So to celebrate the first year of our celebration of North Carolina food and culture, we decided to count down my top 5 of the year.

Some dishes I liked, others not so much, but these 5 meals I absolutely loved. Some of them are regular stops for me now. 

What should I try in 2024? Write me at [email protected] with your suggestions!

Bandito Bodega – Greensboro


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Based in a small shop on Elm Street, Bandito Bodega is designed for easy take out and delicious food. The fusion of Latin and Asian cuisines resulted in my all time favorite “Leah Tries” experience with chimichurri dumplings, furikake fries, miso greens, and a fabulous birria burrito. 

It was a feast and extra company to help sample the menu is recommended.  

Que Viva! Latin Street Grill – Winston-Salem 

Lovers of Latin American cuisine can find Que Viva! Latin Street Grill food truck around the Triad, but their brick and mortar, which opened earlier this year, is just as tasty. 

On their menu, foodies will find Latin American inspired street food like Argentinian empanadas, Venezuelan arepas, and fries loaded with meat, cheese, onions, tomatoes, and cilantro. 

Make sure to grab some napkins, because delicious food comes at a messy price. 

Fat Boys BBQ & Catering – Raleigh


😋 A special “Leah Tries” from the N.C. State Fair: 📌 Chicken empanada and passion fruit juice from @arepalocacrazytasty 📌 “Redneck egg roll” from @fatboys_bbq_nc 📌 Ube and coconut soft serve from @tdsmoothies 📌 Roasted Corn with parmesan and garlic salt What was your favorite food at the fair? For more like this, follow @cardinalandpine! #fall #fallfestivities #oktoberfest #ncstatefair #thingstodoinnc #raleighnc #nclife #ncliving #ncfoodie

♬ original sound – Cardinal & Pine – Cardinal & Pine

Fat Boys BBQ was an unexpected stop at the NC State Fair, and it was by far my favorite treat of the day. 

Based in Raleigh and the surrounding areas, the mobile barbecue caterer serves barbecue staples like brisket, mac’n’cheese, ribs, chicken and something called the “redneck egg roll.” 

The creative twist on an egg roll is eastern style BBQ and coleslaw rolled up andfried. It’s right up my alley of culinary appreciation. 

Cafe Soul Cups  – Cary


Leah Tries @cafesoulcups in Cary, North Carolina!! This Korean dessert cafe is all about coffee, k-hotdogs, mochi donuts, and Leah is in love. She got the: K-Hotdog filled with both cheese and a hotdog, covered in a potatoes and topped off with ketchup and mustard. Dalgona Crunch Latte – a sweet coffee drink topped with light and crispy dalgona candy Mochi Donuts: Banana, Matcha and Brown Rice, Churro #korean #koreanfood #koreangirl #koreandessert #carync #nceats #ncfoodie #ncfoodies #cafesoulcups #latte

♬ original sound – Cardinal & Pine – Cardinal & Pine

In Cary, NC, Cafe Soul Cups specializes in Korean sweets and treats. Some of the staples include snow bingsoo (a frozen milk-based dessert), Korean hotdogs, mochi donuts, and specialty iced lattes. 

While I’m a fan of their ever-changing donut flavors, crunchy corn dog, and coffees, I plan to go back and eat my way through the full menu. 

Musten and Crutchfield Food Market – Kernersville


This week Leah Tries Reaper Pimento Cheese from Musten and Crutchfield, a general store in Kernersville known for their classic pimento cheese and the different flavors they experiment with. In her opinion, it’s the perfect thing to add a kick to your burger. Overall 10/10. #pimentocheese #carolinareaper #spicypimentocheese #pimentocheeserecipe #MustenandCrutchfield #Kernersville #ghostpepper

♬ original sound – Cardinal & Pine

A local favorite in Kernersville, NC, Musten and Crutchfield is a small food market filled with products from local vendors, fresh meats, and some seriously good pimento cheese. 

A homemade product, M&C manufactures new batches of “the South’s caviar” every Monday, including “Original,” “Bold,” and “Carolina Reaper” flavors. 

Their newest cheese, the Carolina Reaper, is hot but not too hot, and goes perfectly on a tomato sandwich or a juicy burger.


  • Leah Sherrell

    Leah Sherrell is a multimedia reporter for Cardinal & Pine. A graduate of UNC-Wilmington, she's a resident of Kernersville with a background in video production and communication. Leah uses many forms of media to explore the multifaceted lifestyles and cultures present in North Carolina.

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