Turner's Lounge, Tralee, kerry
IT HAS BEEN just over four years since the pub-mobile toured Tralee, and as we departed from HQ there was a real sense of excitement among the Commandos. They love Kerry.
Even the Old Commando loves the Kingdom, and although he was extremely envious of Kerry's All-Ireland title success in September, he insisted on coming along for the spin.
"There should be a great atmosphere around Tralee at the minute. They're the county champions for the first time in 20 years and the All-Ireland champions," the Young Commando said as we embarked on our 600km round trip.
"Don't remind me," the Old Commando growled.
We parked our wagon on Edward Street and made our way to Turner's Lounge, entering via the Castle Street entrance.
A sign outside the front door declares this pub serves the 'Best Pint in Town', and the Old Commando felt there was no better man to test that theory than him. We made our way inside and the front bar was packed to the rafters, with many of the mixed clientele glued to the projection screen watching the rugby.
A pretty blonde barmaid served us immediately and our order came to a total of €14.40. Our Young Commando opted for a pint of Beamish at €3.60, while our designated driver moaned at having to pay €2.60 for a Club Orange, but the pints of Guinness at €4.10 went down a treat for the Old Commando and yours truly.
It was very dark in the front bar of this pub as the locals sat in front of the big screen TV and we couldn't locate a seat anywhere.
While we stood in the corner, the Old Commando noticed a framed, signed Kerry jersey that was definitely of the vintage collection. He took a closer look and read the caption, which stated it belonged to the late Danno O'Keefe, the former Kerry keeper.
There are some lovely pictures of the Kerry football teams that lifted the Sam Maguire in 1937 and 1939.
"Maybe they'll put up a photo of the 2014 team as well. What do you think boss?" the Young Commando sniggered, trying to rile his colleague.
We moved on to the second section of this pub to escape the noise, but once again there was no seating available as it was also full. There was an all-male young clientele here and despite the presence of a pool table and a dartboard, everybody was fully focused on the soccer on TV.
Nature called the Young Commando to the loos and when he returned he was far from pleased.
"Those toilets are far from impressive. Jaysus, there's fag butts everywhere," he told us.
There were cigarette butts in the stainless steel urinal and the floor was saturated.
We attribute this to the large male clientele that was present during our stay, but we urge the staff to keep a closer eye on the loos.
There is a private area at the rear of the pub containing a big-screen TV, a jukebox and a gaming machine and it was the only place in this boozer with any seating available. However, it was way too far from the bar.
As we were all set to depart we noticed a third section in this pub and decided to give it a look before we left.
This was the real bar. It was heaven for the Old Commando as the clientele were far more elderly and 'well behaved', as he put it. We decided to stay for one more round and we were glad we did.
This 'Snug' was very relaxing and somewhere we would definitely call again for a nice quiet pint.
The only fault we had in this pub was the toilets, so hopefully the staff will take our advice on board. Turner's is a nice pub in the heart of Tralee.