Thursday, December 23, 2010
Madrid: Antonio the Dentist and Cosmen & Keiless
As part of the general trip preparation, we visited Antonio the Dentist yesterday morning. Ana had been having some tooth sensitivity to heat and cold, and we took the opportunity to get things checked out before we get on our way.
By the time I was Ricky's age, I had developed a healthy aversion to dentists. I used to go to an old man in Maywood, New Jersey. He diagnosed me with an overbite and made a plaster mold of my teeth and gave me some kind of corrective appliance when I was about 4. He was gruff and not particularly friendly, but he gave out small toys when everything was over. Once I got a magnet. Ricky, though, has no such aversion.
Ricky went in with Ana. He sat down in the chair, and looked at the tray of instruments that was kept nearby. He spotted the various drilling implements right away, and he screamed. "Not these! Not these!" he said in Spanish. His whole experience with doctors lately has been with getting shots, and he thought this was a new and diabolical twist on the whole vaccination thing. Fortunately, not only was he mistaken about what he was looking at, he did not need any work done. Ana was also looked at, and x-rayed, and given a clean bill of health. I, on the other hand, was given a thorough cleaning and polishing as well as a lecture on flossing. Ana's parents have known Antonio the Dentist for about 20 years, now. He does fine work when it is required, but he is not shy about saying that everything is fine, nothing needs to be done, and not charging at all. He is also very friendly.
With my newly cleaned and shiny teeth, as well as the freshly approved teeth of Ana and Ricky, we left the dental office. It was starting to rain, and we stepped into a small bakery. We had seen it while walking from the metro to the office, and it had been stuffed full. Now, it was empty. The bakery is called Cosmen & Keiless. It is one of those little places that seems like it has been there for 100 years, but it is actually new and part of a chain. There are nine of these bakeries scattered around Madrid. We had not gone into any of them before, although we'd passed by several.
Cosmen & Keiless is set up to make efficient use of small space. There are some bakery chains in Madrid, like Mallorca, which operate vast establishments, with many tables to sit at, large areas to gather in front of the cases, and lots of prepackaged goods. Cosmen & Keiless takes another route. The stores are narrow, and the area in which customers can walk is not deep. There was a tiny counter at the shop we visited, with a single stool. Spaniards have a prediliction for eating snacks and drinking coffee while standing, anyway.
The first suprising thing I noticed was that they had bagels. Bagels are not a Spanish food. Bagels are, in fact, all but unheard of in Spain. Someone opened a bagel shop in Madrid several years ago, but it failed. These bagels were small and would not have generated any notice at all even compared to the tame and non-traditional product sold at Panera, but the fact that they were there was interesting. And they had a good flavor. The coffee was excellent, the staff was friendly. Ricky had a palmerita, a small elephant ear cookie, which he had good words for. We bought a seeded whole wheat loaf, and it was excellent. There were cakes, and cookies, and many things which, to use a Spanish expression, tienen buena pinta. We grabbed a couple of meat empanadillas, which were very good. They were different, as they were stuffed with pork instead of beef.
I'll be returning to Cosmen & Keiless if I get the chance, to try some of the other sweets they offer. It was only a first impression, but it was a good one.
Clinica Dental, Dr. Antonio Cabanillas
Guzman el Bueno, 123, 1 izq
91 553 3192
Cosmen & Keiless
Cea Bermudez, 62
91 441 3895
Various locations. http://www.cosmenykeiless.com/