You order your meal and think you’re in the clear, when suddenly the waitress throws a curveball at you — “and what would you like on the side?”

In a rush of sheer panic you blurt out the first thing that comes to mind, not knowing just how much your side dish of choice says about you as a person. They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, but I say “can I get fries with that?” Here’s what your side says about you.

Regular Fries


Photo by Alia Wilhelm

This says you’re classic, but also like to play it safe. You know French fries will never disappoint and frankly you are not willing to risk this decision on, let’s say, sweet potato fries. Bringing me to my next option…

Sweet Potato Fries


Photo courtesy of

With this choice, you’re dancing on the line but not ready to completely jump out of the box quite yet. These yummy orange sticks of goodness are special all on their own, and hey, maybe you have a sweet tooth — who am I to judge?

Pickles and Coleslaw


Photo by Kirby Barth

Sorry, what? Are you an 85-year-old woman missing half her teeth? Perhaps my great aunt Phyllis? This brings me to one of my greatest frustrations, which is when people say “I just LOVE pickles.” I can understand enjoying a pickle every now and then, especially because they can cure a hangover. But don’t use the L word unless you really mean it people. And as for the slaw… throw it on the burger, not on the side.



Photo by Becky Hughes

One word: Hardo.

Creamed Spinach


Photo courtesy of

I’ll allow vegetables when they’re doused in this cheesy, creamy deliciousness. Or if it’s in the form of spinach artichoke dip you can make in your dorm.

Baked Potato


Photo by Amanda Shulman

Tells me you’re willing to work for your food. Nothing great ever came easy in life, so why should your potato? We can all agree we’ve never received a fresh hot baked potato that didn’t require a little labor. But once prepped with the proper fixings (i.e. butter, shredded cheese, sour cream, and maybe some bacon bits when feeling extra crazy) this side dish is an absolute home run. If you’re feeling crazy, try making these loaded cheesy potato nachos.

Keep this in mind next time you’re out to eat before your server makes assumptions about you.