I have fond memories of Dailey’s Famous Roast Beef—both the sandwiches and the place where you got them. The sandwiches—the creation of local legend Sean Dailey—were piled high with the most delicious rare roast beef, topped with American cheese (most also with BBQ sauce and mayo—I liked mine plain) and then packed on top of a fresh onion roll. Ron Braga and I would grab a couple (or a few) libations from my Falmouth Wine & Spirits and head down for a late-night snack at the storefront where Mark Bogosian’s Longfellow showroom is today. It was a favorite spot for many in the late ‘90s. Sean and his inerasable smile were mainstays at his place; Dailey’s was a place where there was an endless supply of roast beef sandwiches, Falmouth notables and laughs.
Eventually, Sean traded in the roast beef sandwiches for tuna tartar and tenderloins, founding Eat Your Heart Out (EYHO) Catering, immediately making an impact on that scene and quickly becoming one of the most popular and successful catering businesses on the Cape and beyond. For several years running, EYHO has been named the best caterer in Cape Cod Life’s annual “Best of the Cape & Islands” survey. Sean’s culinary street cred is firmly established. I can attest to that. Many guests have enjoyed mini chicken & waffles, blue cheese sliders, and other phenomenal appetizers expertly prepared by Sean at parties at my home over the years.
However, the camaraderie and customer engagement of the old days still beckoned to Sean. So now, Main Street has a new place to enjoy both the famous Dailey’s Roast Beef and Sean’s smile. Sean and his wife, Laila, have opened Eat Your Heart Out Café and Gourmet Market at 587 Main Street, a bustling lunch and prepared foods emporium on the corner of Nye Road. While the famous sandwich is prominent on the menu, this exciting new venture features a farm-to-table focus and plenty of foods to go. The glistening new facility has plenty of parking in the rear, features four to five fresh and hot soups daily, and has a case of prepared foods to take home that is also updated with each sunrise. Specials are posted daily on their popular Facebook page and customer feedback is overwhelmingly positive.
Sean and his smile are still a mainstay on Main Street. He calls himself “The Great Oz behind the curtain,” as he still prepares much of the café’s delicious offerings in the kitchen, frequently stepping out front to share a hug and a hello with some of the countless friends he’s made over the years. If Sean is the Great Oz, his able sandwichmaker John Rodriguez can aptly be called the Munchkin, the loyal and talented worker helping the Wizard to feed and please the dozens who come in each day. The EYHO Café has quickly become a favorite spot, where the roast beef has been joined by such international picks as Bahn Mi, a favorite Vietnamese sandwich, and beloved chicken shawarma. And catering is available at this locale as well. Customers come in and ask for chicken picata on demand. Sean and Laila come through. “We’ve already got a good base of regular customers, and we’re building new ones every day,” noted Laila, whose own able and affable presence is quickly gaining a following nearly as robust as her masterful mate. Customers can order ahead by checking the menu at www.eatyourheartoutcafe.com and calling in.
And Sean and Laila have accomplished all of this while still giving back. A few years ago, I wrote a column about Sean’s charitable works, noting that, “he’s not simply satisfied with his highly successful catering business, aptly named ‘Eat Your Heart Out,’ as he pours his heart out helping others on a regular basis. He goes beyond dedicating time to his entrepreneurial efforts. He dedicates time, resources and products regularly to pay it forward with goodwill and good eats.” Those words continue to ring true today, as Sean and Laila both support numerous local charities, always willing to provide a warm meal from their warm hearts to help out a neighbor or friend. Just before the holidays, they made a large donation to the Falmouth Service Center, so that Falmouthites in need could enjoy a home-cooked holiday meal. When Sean’s pal Gary Bostwick’s sons were injured in an horrific car accident, Sean sent over food for some of those same family and friends. “It’s the people in this community that put food on our table, so we help put food on theirs,” He explained.
Sean explained to me the essence of his success has been “18 years of blood, sweat, and tenderloins.” That is certainly a Dailey recipe for daily success. He also noted that, “Falmouth has been very, very good to us, so we’ve gotta give back.” Well, Sean and Laila, you’ve been very, very good to Falmouth, so we’ll see you for a sandwich and a smile sometime soon.