By Mike Viso

Fellas, let’s be honest. Everyone knows women wield most of the power in any relationship. I mean you would think Jeannie in I Dream of Jeannie would do whatever Major Nelson said, but you would be wrong.

I just watched this episode where it’s his bachelor party and everyone wants to throw him a party with dancing girls and spiked punch. Major Nelson tells Major Roger Healey he doesn’t want a party—yeah right—and Jeannie wouldn’t be happy either. Are you serious?! How can YOUR genie control what you want? It’s because she’s a woman and they play us men like Charlie Daniels plays a fiddle. So now that we’ve addressed reality, let me clue you in on how to make her happy and you. Someplace warm, a place where the beer flows like wine. Where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. I’m talking about a little place called….Reading Terminal Market (RT).

I been dating this girl, Jess, and she’s great (I have to say that because she’s “supportive” and reads these things). Jess is hilarious, fun, sporty and a foodie like me. I mean who wouldn’t want themselves in a significant relationship? Anyway, we are always looking for new foods to cook or try that are reasonably priced. I’m not a ‘baller’ by any means. So, after watching the Travel Channel,
I mention that we should head down there and lunch. Well, she’s adverse to crowds at times so she is skittish at first but we decide to take the journey on afternoon.

I live in Fairmount, so I would recommend taking a cab, especially if you hit their beer garden. Again, proving the point that women rule over us, she convinced me to drive. That means no beer and parking. She assured me that it was $4 to park if you go to the market. However, she forgot to mention that it needs to be validated and $18 later, I’m less than thrilled. I do have to admit the leftovers balanced out my annoyance later on.

Okay, now here is what I didn’t know that I know now. You must have a plan of action. The place is packed and there are so many choices. I’m from Vineland, New Jersey, so I appreciate good produce. I’m a huge vegetable guy and I have to vouch for the produce at RT. The eggplant sticks in my mind the most. It was nice deep purple—now I have “Smoke on the Water” stuck in my head—and large. That’s really the key. If you are looking for veggies head there first. You’re not going to want to squeeze through crowds after eating a smorgasbord of food. They also have interesting packaged healthy snacks. There are all different kinds of nuts but Jess got baked peas. It sounds gross but after eating five and getting your palette accustomed to the taste, they become addictive.

Next, it’s time to feast. Jess was pretty amped after watching “Man vs. Food,” so she decided she wanted to go to DiNic’s. I’m a huge pulled pork guy and I have to try it if it’s on the menu, so I obliged.

All I have to say is wow! I got it plain to test and see if it was the meat or if it was the aura of the place. I was very impressed with the place as a whole. The workers looked like synchronized swimmers the way the flowed together, the place was spotless, the bread was soft—number one part for me—and the meat was juicy but not watery.

I knew all along where I wanted to get dessert. We did the tourist route of walking around and scoping everything out. Jess and I hit the dessert section before lunch so it was countdown until I could get rum cake from Termini’s. For the love of everything holy is that cake good. I was especially impressed that they were able to keep it moist while not in their normal spot. The worst part was I had to wait to get home to eat it. Jess’ dessert choice was two cookies from . I had to take a bite—for the columns sake—and I was pleasantly surprised. I’m not the biggest cookie fan. I really just love Chips Ahoy! more than any other cookie.

After coming out of the food coma, I realized Jess was extra happy. Not that she’s miserable or unaffectionate, but she was overjoyed by how “fun that place was!” That night, I had requested to hang out with my buddies and I’d see her the next day. Since we each are always on the go, that request is met with more frowns and I miss yous than acceptance. This day was a 180. I got the golden approval and the promise of peanut butter and jelly French toast the next day! God, I love this woman! All I could do is say thank you and give her a kiss goodbye. I have to thank the magic of the Reading Terminal Market.

My night was eventful to say the least, but I felt that familiar buzz in my pocket around midnight. There was a mousey voice on the other end as I said, “Hey.” What was returned to me was, “Babe? Umm, I was wondering, if you were in the area, would you want to come over with your friends?”

“Of course, Beautiful, we’ll be there shortly,” I replied. Would you say no to a gorgeous girl? Exactly.