By Shawn Regan
---- — HAVERHILL — Many restaurants claim to be the best.
Benedetti’s Deli in Haverhill has the hardware and video to prove it.
Deli owner Marc Benedetti will appear on NBC’s “The Steve Harvey Show” today at 10 a.m. to accept the award for “Best Deli in America.”
The show was recorded last week at NBC’s Chicago studio. Benedetti already has the “Best Deli in America” plaque hanging in his restaurant at 350 Washington St. in the city’s Mount Washington neighborhood.
Benedetti, who runs the deli with his brother Edward and their sister Mary, was nominated by customers and received the most votes in a national online competition.
Benedetti is joined on today’s show by other business owners who are recognized in categories such as best pizza shop, bakery, coffee shop and florist shop.
“I gave a little speech at a podium and then sat with Steve,” Benedetti said, adding the host sampled the deli’s Marc Anthony Italian sub on the show.
Benedetti’s Deli was founded in 1961 by Molly and Marcy Benedetti and has been a family-run business ever since. Their son Joseph Benedetti operated the store until he died in 2009. The deli is known locally as “The Home of the Rocket’’ — a reference to its large, popular submarine sandwiches.
While he was taping the TV show, Marc Benedetti said he met up with Edward Goyette, owner of the BeanTowne Coffee House in Hampstead. BeanTowne was honored by the show as the best coffee shop in America for its community service.
Goyette also appears on the show. Among Goyette’s accomplishments is that his customers recently donated nearly 800 items to the food pantry at St. Anne Church. Last year, the coffee shop raised money to support a girl who had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Earlier this year, Goyette was contacted by a woman whose daughter has Tay-Sachs disease, which is an incurable. Goyette put a hat on the counter of his shop and encouraged customers to donate to those working to find a cure for the disease. Within a few weeks, they had raised $1,700. The coffee shop is collecting food items for a food pantry in time for Christmas.