Love the Green Market. Good cheeses and this one stand there, I can't remember the name of the vendor, but they make these cider smoothies, no additives. You choose what fruit you want in there, then they add they're apple cider. Delicious. The market on Rush is pretty decent too.
Trader Joe's is excellent. Great buys for wine, cheese, nuts, and snicky-snacky foods. A lot of their chips are low in fat and salt. Their wine and cheese are a lot cheaper than any mainstream grocer. I do agree with someone saying up above about the prepackaged veggies and fruits (avocados...
gonefishing......I completely agree with you on La Scarola. Probably the best Italian I've had in the city. Very authentic, family style feel.
Orsos (west loop), Angelina's (lakeview), Sayat Nova for some good Armenian (downtown) to name a few.
I live pretty close to the city olive, a little further south but just the #36 bus ride away. Have been menaing to go but have never been. This event sounds fun. Do they do a lot of these types of things? And 20 bucks doesn't sound to bad for what they offer.
Using some sort of acidity like lemon, might alter the taste. I use ascorbic acid, a crushed vitamin C powder, when I make a hash brown dish. Once I grate my potatoes, I sprinkle a little of the powder over and they don't turn. You can find this acid at Whole Foods.