Ashby’s Deli’s motto has it just right: “Eat well, live well.”

Ashby’s is a neighborly breakfast and lunch spot on Route 1 in Kennebunk. It’s set among a busy intersection of big neighbors, and might be easily overlooked if not for its local flair and utter lack of pretension.

At Ashby’s, you are just as likely to be greeted by name as not — and if not, a conversation will surely follow, your name will be wrested from you and, on completion of your meal and settlement of your bill, you will be bid farewell by name and urged to return.

And no doubt you will return, because Ashby’s also gets its food just right. I stopped in for a late breakfast on Saturday, and also ordered a sandwich to go for my wife at lunch.

I asked for a simple meal: bacon and eggs, with toast and homefries ($5.75). It also included coffee, self-dispensed in a cardboard cup. I ordered at the counter and took my seat at a sunny table.

The experience delighted me on many levels. I appreciated the karma of the place. The owner is a former firefighter, and Ashby’s is decked out with memorabilia from his work, including photos of fires and a display of fire department patches. It’s hard to explain, but there’s a feeling of comfort knowing you are in a place that is looked after by someone who makes his life protecting others.

A friendly vibe saturated the small deli. I don’t remember their names — shame on me, because I was introduced — but the guy who took my order and the woman who prepared it were fully involved in conversation with each other, and with me, throughout my time in the deli. I liked that. It felt authentic and friendly, and not at all superficial.

And finally, the food was pretty good. I asked for eggs over easy, and these were all of that. Just the yolk was runny, but not so much that there was still uncooked clear goo in the egg. I hate that. These were just about perfect. The wheat toast was hearty and substantial, and good for yolk dipping.

I also appreciated the spiced homefries. The potatoes were cubed medium to large, presumably par-boiled and then sauteed in a spicy seasoned blend.

My only breakfast complaint was the bacon. It was overcooked for my taste, dry and crumbly. I still ate it, but I’m just saying.

The breakfast menu is reasonably extensive, with pancakes, omelets, French toast, breakfast burritos and a breakfast sandwich made with egg, cheese and bacon on English muffin, toast or bagel. It looked fantastic, and it was all I could do to not order one to go. I already had a sandwich in the hopper for my wife. So why not add a breakfast sandwich?

But I resisted, and instead took home a lonely chicken salad sandwich on wheat bread, with a slice of American cheese and lettuce, and a side of potato salad ($6.50). My wife loved it.

The chicken chunks were moist and massive, and the salad mix had a tart, almost cranberry flavor to it. The potato salad was a bit bland, but perfectly edible.

It was an excellent experience, and certainly worthy of a return visit.

The Features staff anonymously samples meals for about $7.