When I moved to Chicago, in 1993, I was impressed by the variety and dedication locals had to their various Chicago things. The deep-dish pizza is good, the hot dogs are fantastic, and the ribs were not remarkable. The thing that stood out, to me, was the Italian beef. A giant pile of sliced roast beef, not covered with, but accented by peppers and spices, on a roll. As I experienced it, the sandwich might as well have been dunked in a tank of au jus for a full five count. Italian Beef is a sloppy, delicious monster, and I have never found a good one outside of Chicago.
Brian Lagerstrom is one of my favorite YouTube chefs, and he's a Chicagoan. I am likely to repeat his recipe for this sandwich this weekend. I may bake my own rolls, because I am crazy like that.
I do not remember the near-muffuletta style picked salad he employs and rather recall sauteed or roasted bell peppers. I think his version sounds pretty great, and it is easy to do both. Am I misremembering, or is there just a higher-end Italian Beef than I was accustomed to? I think most Chicago food was targetted at being "every-person" and not unattainable cuisine.