Discussion: What’s Your Favorite Side Item?

A good side item can round out a meal just right.  What’s a McDonald’s Big Mac without a side of french fries?  Or a Famous Dave’s 2-meat combo without the cornbread muffin?  A Chipotle burrito without the guac and chips is no Chipotle I want to be a part of.  Pizza Skins at Uno Chicago Grill are worth getting as an entree in my opinion.  Just a few chain restaurant related side item personal thoughts.  Sometimes the sides alone are worth grabbing over anything else.  I’m pretty sure I can no longer leave a Jerry’s Subs and Pizza without an order of Onion Straws.  What’s your go-to side item? 

Disregard the "Famous Potato Fries" label. These are my beloved Onion Straws.

49 comments on “Discussion: What’s Your Favorite Side Item?

  1. Nick says:

    Fries, but a fresh biscuit is unbeatable.

    It’s a shame they’re usually stale 😐

  2. jrdunn says:

    I love KFC potato wedges although I don’t get them much at all since KFC is close to my house but not in a direction I travel much. Not so much a particular side item but when I go to a restaurant I most the time get a sandwich and when asked if I want a potato, veggies, salad coleslaw or fries I just look at the waitress like “are you serious” fries of course

  3. I love Pizza Hut’s breadsticks and cheese and it’s hard for me to eat pizza without them! Actually, sometimes I just order the breadsticks! I also love Chick-Fil-A’s waffle fries and Five Guy’s French fries! I can’t eat in either of those two places without getting them! I also used to really love Arby’s jalapeno poppers, but my local Arby’s no longer carries them 🙁

  4. Person says:

    Popeyes red beans and rice

  5. COBRA says:


  6. SkippyMom says:

    Arby’s used to have those hash brown type potato triangles [2 to a box] you could choose instead of fries. I would still eat at Arby’s if ours still served those. YUM.

    Most of the time, now, my favorite side is a fresh salad. Weird, I know, but I crave fresh greens and tomatoes.

  7. Rally’s fries, no question.

    • Abel says:

      You don’t feel that the Rally’s fries changed from lets say 10 years ago? … I used to love those fries!! They are still good especially fully loaded but before they were just amazing.

  8. Marvo says:

    If a restaurant offers it, I get sweet potato fries.

  9. Manavee says:

    Popeye’s biscuit, with the red beans and rice a close second.

    • larry says:

      Ditto to both.

      Runner(s) Up:

      1) Love a good salad and they have a pretty good one at Outback. In fact, the salad is a side for my buffalo wings and imo, the only two edible things on their menu.

      2) A good baked potato. Slightly crispy jacket with specks of salt. Creamy inside, butter, salt, pepper, maybe a little sour cream. Hard to find a good one outside of my kitchen but I bump into one on accident from time to time.

      3) A side of clam strips at LJS – again the only edible thing on their menu but oddly enough they have a very nice, slightly peppery clam strip which has the added benefit of always being cooked when ordered.

      4) The old chili pie at Sonic. Came in a small container with crushed corn chips at the base, a layer of chili, and topped with a layer of sharp cheddar.

      Fries at 5 Guys gets honorable mention.

      Worst sides:

      1) Chik-Fil-A Waffle Fries. This is one of those products that is past it’s prime 24 seconds out of the fryer. They get cold fast and they are a textural mess.

      2) McDonalds Fries – bring back the beef tallow boys..this ain’t health food and your fries are but a shadow of their former self.

      3) Anything at Arby’s

  10. Justn says:

    Nice question, Ryan. If we’re being general, a good vinegar cole slaw is always #1 for me. But if we’re being specific to a chain that everyone knows, I will say In-N-Out’s fries Animal-style.

    • Adam says:

      Do you get your fries well done? I love In-N-Out’s well done fries, but I’ve never understood getting fries with “wet” ingredients other than ketchup.

  11. Adam says:

    McDonald’s fries, fo sure, although I don’t eat them as sides. They are so good they should be eaten alone. No need to try to rush them in between bites of chicken nuggets.

  12. JF says:

    Smashburger’s haystack onions are my current favorite (always been patial to onion rings and always get those over fries whenever possible).

  13. Chefprotoss says:

    If it is an option and it isn’t a neglected after thought by the restaurant, I go for a salad. CFA gets it right. Other than that, Popeyes mash is manditory and I usually munch on my friends fries.

    Mmm… second hand potatoes…

  14. Dany says:

    There’s a small local chain here in the Phoenix area that makes the best fries with a little container of “fry sauce” exactly like in your picture. The place is called Lenny’s. A few locations are sometimes hit-or-miss, though. But goddamn. Those are good fries.

  15. Patrick says:

    Chili Cheese Tater Tots from Sonic

    Popeye’s Cajun Fries are a very close second.

  16. Sweet potato fries, anytime, anywhere.

    Although Sonic’s tater tots make a convincing argument.

    • Adam says:

      Agreed. Love sonic’s option for tots. For whatever reason, tots can never be bad, where fries can often be either overcooked or undercooked.

  17. Adam says:

    del taco hash brown sticks fo sho! if its between 11pm-11am, I am there!!

  18. wibia says:

    Potato Ole is right up there. ha ha, forgot about those.
    I will also side with my fellow blogger, Rally’s fries are the bomb.
    Favorite general side is Mac and Cheese.

  19. Tony says:

    I’d have to say KFC’s biscuits without a doubt.

  20. Seeker says:

    My go-to side is usually just another serving of the entree, because I devour food by in insane quantities. Either that or a smaller version of the main entree. Big Mac with a McDouble for example rather than fries is usually my course of action.

  21. Lylat says:

    Mcdonalds Fries there to damn good!

  22. Jas says:

    have to love mozzarella sticks

  23. SPM says:

    The zucchini at Carls Jr.

  24. Anne Sutton says:

    Don’t forget breakfast sides! I can’t go into Hardee’s without eating a cinnamon raisin biscuit. Yum!

  25. rob says:

    Tater tots like the ones they made in the school cafeteria

  26. MrGinghamShirts says:

    Whenever it’s offered, Arby’s southwest egg rolls. SO good.

  27. Brixton says:

    Hurricane Grill and Wings Parmesan Fries..

  28. Kayleigh says:

    Favorite side ever = Wendy’s chilli

    Love in general = Soup! Tots, mac and cheese, beans and rice, onion rings (these are so hard to get right…usually they bum me out)

    Terrible = Arby’s “curly fries”, Wendy’s new fries…both of these make me frown…a lot.

  29. @graciHas says:

    usually fries or a baked potato hit the spot. KFC’s mac n cheese is good, and I like BK’s onion rings when they are fresh. I also tried some fried eggplant from a tapas restaurant and it was amazing.

  30. Mike N says:

    I love Church’s mashed and gravy, even though I assume they’re from potato buds. Not a fast food thing, but I love baked beans with bbq.

    @Kayleigh – Wendy’s chili is awesome, but that’s my main course, not the side.

    @Seeker – I agree; I’d rather have a ‘value menu’ burger or chicken sandwich rather than over-priced fries.

  31. I forgot to mention my MOST FAVORITE SIDE – The CARROT AND RAISIN SALAD at Chick-Fil-A!!! It is AMAZING and I always order an extra to take home and eat the next day! It isn’t mayo based (yuck, I hate that kind) and it has crushed pineapple and the carrots are really thinly shredded. IT IS SO GOOD!!! I want one right now – too bad the nearest Chick-Fil-A is 30 miles away!

  32. somesteve says:

    french fries, no question. I just (literally) had some french fries.

  33. VanessaG says:

    I had 5 guys today for the first time and I have to admit the chipotle fries were good. Although I still favor Chick Fil A waffle fries. Chick fil A anything is the best!!! 🙂

  34. Sascha says:

    Five Guy fries are a must. Probably #1 on my list.

    Also, the Shoestring Fries at Steak n’ Shake are excellent, and so is their chili. Usually get a combo with fries and chili, then combine the two.

    Just about every side at Boston Market is awesome, especially the Mashed potatoes and gravy, new potatoes, and corn.

    KFC’s mashed and gravy aren’t bad.

    And the cheese curds at A&W and Culver’s and, surprisingly enough, Bob Evans.

    • Manavee says:

      Good call on the cheese curds. I can’t believe I forgot them. I’ve never been to an A and W, so I can’t comment on theirs, but Culver’s are excellent.

      Culver’s had an LTO Chipotle Cheese Curds a while back. I know chipotle is overused, but these things were awesome. Unlike most “spicy” products offered by fast food places, these actually had a huge spicy kick to them.

  35. Mattitude says:

    Has to be the Ranchero Beans from Cowboy Chicken, even better than the chicken itself!

  36. Shannon says:

    I have many sides that I like. It’s really hard to choose just one side.

    1.) KFC biscuits- they’re so good. Whenever my dad gets them, I steal two because one else eats them. So good with butter.

    2.) Mac salad. If the place serves it, I will eat it.

    3.) Tom Wahls Onion Rings. So goood. I know people don’t know this place unless you live in Rochester.

  37. Lindsay says:

    Too many! Some of these are desserts though….

    KFC – biscuits and gravy AND their coleslaw!

    McDonald’s – their fries of course!

    Texas Roadhouse – fresh hot buns and cinnamon butter

    Pizza Hut – breadsticks, although I remember them tasting better in my youth.

    Culver’s – frozen custard and cheese curds

    Applebee’s – Maple Blondie Brownie with Ice Cream

    Olive Garden – Salad and breadsticks

    Sides I wish could be better and hope for improvement…

    1. Arby’s curly fries – these could be good, but no…I never get anything but a dry gross batch.

    2. Wendy’s fries – I liked their old ones.

    3. Chick- Fil – A Waffle Fries – these could be good, but each fry varies so much, it seems like some are undercooked and mushy and some are too crispy.

  38. Katy says:

    Noble Roman’s breadsticks with spicy cheese dip. I’ve been known to eat them as a meal. The pizza is kinda crap, but the stix & sauce are like none other. I think they’re only in the Indianapolis area now, though.

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