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
28003 Madrid
91 553 3192

Cosmen & Keiless
Cea Bermudez, 62
28003 Madrid
91 441 3895
Various locations.


  1. I am loving your blogs which have become a morning ritual. I get my cafe con leche, and spend time with you; like sitting at my kitchen island with you Bryan, so many years ago.

  2. Ana and I are glad you are enjoying our blog! We're each writing an entry each day, and have high hopes of continuing throughout our travels. Have a great morning!


  3. I loved Ricky's response to the dental tools! Made me laugh : ) I get the lecture about flossing, too. For some reason I have this rebellion about flossing...I find it so unpleasant...yet love the way my teeth feel after getting my teeth cleaned and flossed ; )

  4. I envy you that dentist...and the bakery. And count me in as a rebellious flosser. Annoying necessary evil.

  5. We feel really fortunate to have a dentist we trust. I also love the clean teeth feeling!

  6. I love it all: baked goods, the dentist, flossing. And Ricky screaming made this post even funnier. :)

  7. I love that the teeth did not stay clean for long, since within minutes of the cleaning we were at the bakery! :)