I had never even heard of chicken fried steak until I moved to Texas. The first time I had it, I fell in love with it. Whether I make it at home, or order it at a restaurant, I always get mashed potatoes and fried okra for my sides.
Like a lot of traditional foods, it can be awesome, or it can really suck.
Honestly, I wish restaurants would abandon tradition, and upgrade their choice in steak. Using cheap-arse meat makes sense if you are a poor mom trying to feed your family in the 1920s, but if you are going to charge me good money for it in your restaurant, spring for a better cut of meat. I don't want to pay fifteen bucks for two dollar's worth of tough beef run through a tenderizer.