Chicago’s oldest Italian beef stand, now part of a citywide chain, opened in 1938 and remains a Little Italy mainstay. Al’s still makes the beef the way it always has, and it’s a little different from the offerings of all the other gravy-slingers around town, as the beef is more finely shredded and the giardiniera more finely chopped. The end product is tender and meaty, with hints of what many have identified as clove and allspice — but we’ll never know for sure, since Al’s keeps its recipe secret. $7.35; 1079 W. Taylor St., Little Italy