If a quality cut of beef – expertly prepared by a skilled steak chef – was placed on the table in front of you, and there was nothing else on your plate, would you complain? Eating a steak by itself may seem counter intuitive; but when steak is good, it’s really good. Most people would be happy to feast on a good steak all by itself.

But there would be something missing, wouldn’t there? Steak and sides are a timeless tradition, and great side dishes are a perfect way to “round out” the experience of a steak dinner. Every steakhouse has sides on the menu, whether they come as part of a steak platter, or “family style” sides that can be shared with the whole table.

So what comes to mind when you think about sides? The majority of people think about baked potatoes, fries, potatoes au gratin, or some other variety of potatoes. There’s a good reason for this – steak and potatoes are a match made in heaven. Then there are the vegetable dishes – whether it’s broccoli, roasted cauliflower, Brussels sprouts or fresh string beans.

But have you really tried all of the best steak sides? Here are three you might want to consider on your next visit to the local steakhouse.

Lobster Mac & Cheese

Everybody knows that lobster and shrimp are viable sides for a juicy steak – but have you tried lobster mac & cheese with your tender slab of beef? When it’s done right, this side dish is incredibly tasty and satisfying.

Wild mushrooms

We’re not talking about some “ordinary” mushroom dish, but a medley of wild-picked mushrooms to go with your steak. The taste of wild mushrooms can really bring out the flavor of steak. Try it and see for yourself!

Toasted Quinoa

Quinoa is a versatile and nutritious grain, and you see it everywhere these days. But it’s actually difficult to cook this grain to perfection, as many people who’ve made it at home to attest. Perfectly toasted quinoa is a rich and flavorful addition to a steak dinner.

Beer battered onion rings

You might associate this menu item with a carnival or ball game, but have you tried gourmet onion rings battered in quality beer, such as Guinness? If you want to take your steak dinner to the next level, you might want to give this menu option a try.

Where’s your next steakhouse visit?

You may or may not share it on Facebook the next time you check into a steakhouse – but have you thought about where that’s going to be? The fact is, there are a lot of great local steakhouses out there. But there are a lot of mediocre ones as well. The difference usually isn’t very noticeable in price, or even ambiance. But you’ll notice a huge spectrum of quality when it comes to the food. That’s because more reputable steakhouses source higher quality beef, and hire more experienced and skilled chefs to prepare it for you. Now that’s the kind of experience you want for your next steakhouse visit!