Italian Beef
Illustration: Hawk Krall

I always get my Italian beef dipped. It’s a wet sandwich, which by any standards sounds disgusting, unless you’re in an emo or progressive punk band. There’s an awkwardness that only Chicagoans know, which is if you order your sandwich dipped and they don’t dip it enough and you ask them to do it again, they give you this stonefaced look like, “I dipped it.” And then you ask them again, and they give you a look like, “I dipped it,” and hand you a ladle of grease with bits of meat floating in it that says, “GET THE GOOD GODDAMN OUT OF HERE!”