Look mum no hands!
49 Old Street
London EC1V 9HX
Date of Last Visit: Monday, 28 June 2010
The Victim: @leeturnerconn
The Damage: £6 each
The Background: Maybe it's the sunshine. Or maybe it's just Clerkenwell. I am in LOVE with London at the moment. And Clerkenwell in particular. Is it the red brick? The warehouses? The "new" Waitrose on St. John Street? Vinoteca? St. John? All these things? I don't know.
But I do know that I'm in love with Look Mum No Hands.
Because you see, when I lived in Chicago, I used to ride my bike EVERYWHERE. Unfortunately, I also used to get my bike stolen a lot. (Don't ever believe Kryptonite when they tell you its theft-proof.) One set of thieves were particularly horrible. They gradually stripped my (3rd or 4th) bike down, one item at a time. (I always locked it up in front of my apartment building. Well. With many locks.) First, they took my odometer. Then, they took all the reflectors. (Is there a black market in reflectors? Is there?) Then there was the seat, which I had stupidly not removed before heading in for the night. And after I had replaced the odometer, the reflectors, AND the seat, they took the front wheel. And after I replaced that, they took everything. Everything.
I brought my (new) bike with me to London.
And in six years, I've ridden it ONCE.
Because I'm a scaredy-cat. Seriously. My perception after one failed outing from Tower Bridge to Greenwich is that London is not a relaxing city to bike in.
One of the things I often say about moving back to the States–and Chicago in particular–is that I can't wait to ride my bike EVERYWHERE. (I kinda want one of those cool retro bikes and a cape to do it in. Thank God I don't like animals because if I did, I'd also subject the poor thing to riding in my wicker basket.)
My point in telling you all this is that Look Mum No Hands is a bikers' cafe. And boy are bikers nice. The staff here were so amazingly cheerful and pleasant and helpful and sweet…they could teach many a high-end restaurant a thing or two. (Cara has already hinted at the oddness of the maitre'd at Bruno Loubet over here.)
Look Mum No Hands! strikes me as the perfect place to go on a Saturday morning and hang out. And you know what they have? They have free wifi. Of course they do! (The other night, I had dinner at Bodeans in Tower Hill, and I asked the server if they had free wifi. Everyone looked at me like I was crazy. But after 2.5 weeks in the Middle East, where every server seemed to ask "Would you like some wifi to go with your meal?" I can't stop asking. Hey, I have an iPhone. But it doesn't always get reception. Like when you're in the basement of Bodeans Tower Hill.)
Look Mum No Hands has SALADS. Multiple types. A small salad plate will cost you £4.50. This, IMHO, is a very good value. Needed a bit of salt or a zesty dressing, but all in all, we felt quite virtuous. Even though we weren't riding bikes.
The Verdict: Go. Save me a seat. Maybe I'll even ride my bike there. But please let's hope they don't become too cool for school. Stay sweet!