Welcome to Corner Store Food Critic, where we select an item typically found at any number of corner stores in San Francisco, bring said item home in a carefully wrapped bag, and then taste it in private. Seeing as how that, in a pinch, many of us eat entire meals bought solely at barely-lit corner markets and liquor stores, we now see it as our duty to examine the crud you shove down your throat during moments of drunken weakness or sheer hunger/laziness. That tin of deviled ham? Hellacious-looking Rockstar derivative? Bizarre Skittles flavor concoction? New Hot Pocket flavor? Those bottles of viscous water with chunks of aloe plant floating inside? We'll cover that and more.

What makes our palate so damn special when it comes to sodium- and high fructose corn syrup-laced corner store food products? Simple, we eat that stuff. And so do you. Only we're not afraid to admit it. Obviously.

Why review this garbage? Because it's the one aspect of the local food scene, if you will, that ethically-questionable PR cretins have yet to corner. So far. So, ha!

Milano Melts

Like other normal human beings, we have trouble with Pepperidge Farm's Milano Cookies. For starters, they're cake-like and hit the tongue with an oft-putting soft/crisp feel, two things one doesn't want in corner store sweets. (Brussels, both thin and crisp, are considered the superior Pepperidge Farm cookie. They even come with the best tagline in prepackaged food history: "Voyage to the edge of crisp." Brilliant.) The new Milano Melts line brings the troublesome cookie to a higher level with a lava cake-like taste, but the same problems persist. While the chocolate taste is dark and punctuating -- it reminded us of a deeper-tasting spoonful of Quick mix, which we mean in the best way possible -- the cookie itself is still too chalky and crumbly.

Further, the "melt" part of Milano Melts isn't nearly as full as we'd like -- or as the bag lets on. The cookie-to-filling ratio is lopsided. Which is fury-inducing to say the least.

After finishing more than half the bag (hush you), we felt a resounding meh about the new line of allegedly melty cookies. While the stuffed-center genre of corner store food usually proves tantalizing to the eye and mouth, it makes more sense with regard to savory items rather than sweet -- e..g, Pizza Rolls, Hot Pockets, Combos. To satiate your sweet tooth, we recommend candy bars (which are usually eaten from the time of purchase up until you unlock your front door) or ice cream pints rather than these clever, albeit one-note, cookies.

Have a corner store food item you're too afraid to try? Let us do the dirty work for you. Email us [email protected].