I want to thank those from the area who shared their collective wisdom. We had a great time, though only 36 hours, snout to tail.
Petey's in Rye: More or less what we wanted in a beachside/local place. We had smelts, lobster and calamari. Good service and atmosphere, prices reasonable. Food about what you would expect, basic and good. Calamari just okay.
Steve's Diner in Exeter: Pancakes, waffles, hash and eggs. Pancakes and waffles only so, so. Good hash and breads. Is anyone else put off by ordering juice and having them bring a can or bottle? Good stop if you happen to be close by, but I wouldn't make another trip out of my way. We also tried Greek Sausage, name escapes me. heavily flavored with orange peel and clove--very interesting but not appropriate at breakfast. Good service.
Cap'n Simeon's out on 103 Kittery/York: The definition of the old school dockside dining room that you went to with the whole family. We lucked into 2 chicken lobsters at $20 and had an enjoyable evening with a little crabcake thrown in for good measure. Particularly welcome respite after waiting in the wind for the lighting of the Nubble out at Cape Neddick.
Celebrity Sandwich in Portsmouth(not a Chow recommendation but happened upon it): Schticky place that has 72 sandwiches with Stars' names attached willy-nilly. Ingredients were standard, the place looks poorly improvised, and the owner, oddly tan, kept directing and counter-manding his counter help. Did I catch it on a bad day?
Golden Egg on 1A at 1B on the way to New Castle: excellent if pricey breakfast. I had a derivation of benedict with asparagus and corned beef, with a side of baked beans. First rate but I found it offensive that at the price($ 34 for two adults and a child), they charge( in New England!) for true maple syrup.