I know that you guys here have a beef-a-thon or something similiar coming up, but I've been on a mission the past few weeks to taste some notable beef sandwiches. Here's my thoughts, feel free to make suggesstions for me to try in the NW burbs.
Buena Beef - Pretty darn good for a chain. Good beef, nice and thin, not fatty or greasy. Giardanera was full of chunky veggies but could've been hotter. Readily available makes it a bonus. Fry's are the worst.
Portillos - Bland beef and lousy giardanera. Little more greasy than Buena. Good fries though.
Johnnies in Arlington Heights - First time here, darn good beef. Hot giardenara. No complaints, real good.
Al's on Taylor- First time here, won't be back. Oily as heck and had a funny aftertaste (maybe was the giardanara). Personally thought it was the worst of the bunch.
Mr. Beef - Made the trek back to my hometown of Berwyn to revisit Mr. Beef. I had no idea it was popular, its a neigborhood place to me. Good beef sandwich, good giardanera. Right up there with Johnnies. Good fries as well, like Portillos.
Carms in Westchester - Holy Cow thats a beef! Best of the bunch. Haven't been there since high school, kinda remmeber going to a Carms on Roosevelt, maybe the same place. Giardanera was good, beef was the tasiest. Numero Uno.
Giordano's - I'm probably spelling it wrong, but you know who I mean, the pan pizza place. I got a beef cuz I can;t stand their pizza. It was ok, nothing special. Bread the used for the beef was better than the rest though.
Well there's my 2 cents, and it isn't worth more. Feel free to call my taste buds insane or turn me on to a new place.