Chicken fried steak is typically a less expensive cut of steak, that is seasoned and coated like you would prepare chicken. Less expensive cuts of steak often have no flavor, and are tough. Therefore the chicken fried steak is also a thinner cut of steak that is tenderized,
The gravy that accompanies the steak is basically to add a complimenting flavor, which is different by region...some use brown gravy, and some use white gravy. Personally I think it's needed to cover up the steak, because the look of the fried steak, is not as appealing as the look of fried chicken.
Occassionally I do fried cube steak, with gravy, a side of rice, peas and biscuits.