WAREHAM — Much of last weekend felt like a blur.

While reporting for an upcoming longform story, I traveled to three football fields and spoke to about a dozen people. When I wasn’t immediately on a field, I looked at one through a flat-screen television.

One of those TVs sat on a wall inside Shenangigans Bar and Grill in Wareham.

Late Saturday afternoon we realized we arrived at the wrong time — not hour but season. The temperatures dipping into the 50s prevented any use of a pretty expansive outdoor patio. Once we stepped inside we saw signage describing fire pits as well.

The space really transforms the average sports bar into a great destination on summer nights.

Instead, with a fall crisp in the air, Allyssa and I were able to easily find a table inside to catch the end of Game 2 of the NLCS.

The mixed drinks caught our eyes. I dived in with a pucker purple ($6.54): vodka, blue curacao, Sprite and Cranberry Juice. Allyssa went with the espresso mudslide ($9.12): espresso vodka, Bailey’s and amaretto.

Each really started the meal off on the right step.

A white sheet a paper accompanied our menus with specials for the night. The fried pickles ($7.99) immediately caught my attention. Always in search for the area’s best nachos, we debated on ordering the nachos ($8.99) and adding pulled chicken ($2.99), but the pickles persevered.

Our entrees were a little more difficult to decide upon — at least for me.

Allyssa landed on the turkey Italiano panini ($10.99), which consisted of sliced turkey with applewood bacon, spinach, roasted red peppers and provolone cheese.

The Italian sandwich ($11.99) caught my eye as it came with salami, mortadella, ham, pepperoni, provolone and hot peppers. In terms of the sandwiches, it’s main competition was the Cape Cod Reuben ($11.99), which consisted of fried haddock on grilled marble rye, Swiss cheese and topped with tartar sauce and coleslaw.

I wanted something a little heavier, though. On the same page of the menu, my eyes scrolled down to the pizzas, specifically the buffalo chicken pizza (small $9.99, large $12.99). In addition to the spicy chicken, it came with broccoli, homemade alfredo sauce and cheese. I hadn’t seen a combination like that before. It really intrigued me, but I found myself ordering a burger instead.

If my memory serves me well, I believe it’s my first Dine Out burger.

If you haven’t realized by now, for me, the more spice the better. The firehouse burger ($10.99) appeared to be a winner. It was topped with fried banana peppers, cheddar cheese and ranch dressing. I was disappointed to find out they no longer served the pretzel buns listed on the menu. A regular bun would do.

Not the biggest fan of ranch, I asked to substitute it with the house boom boom sauce, which would add another kick.

The appetizer arrived soon after we ordered. I’ve had fried pickles as both chips and spears. This variety was sliced and generous. I hesitate to call them chips, because they were pretty thick, which worked well.

A lot of times you can only taste the batter of thinly sliced fried pickles. The generous slices and just enough batter made for a delicious bite. Add the boom boom sauce and I was sold. The sauce added a spicy kick at the end. It tasted like a chipotle sauce with more punch.

I lived four years in Mississippi, where nearly everything is fried, but these pickles would hold their own anywhere.

Our entrees arrived not too long after the appetizer. I actually could have used more time to chip away at the pickles, which turned out to be my favorite portion of the meal. But that's a good problem to have.

The meals arrived and were pleasing to the eye. Like the girth of the pickles, I immediately noticed the thickness of the fried banana peppers. These were hand cut and fried, which I really appreciated.

However, my burger came with ranch. Fortunately there was enough boom boom sauce from the pickles to drizzle some on. With the ranch, it didn’t have the same kick.

I ordered the burger medium-well, and it was cooked beyond well done. It had a pretty potent char to it as well.

The burger itself tasted good, but as I said, just a little overdone. The highlight was the fried banana peppers. I’ve had fried jalapenos atop a burger before and I find they’re usually lost among the beef, bun and other condiments. These peppers stood out and added a really great layer to the dish. Often, peppers can lose their punch after frying too. Not here, but it was the perfect amount — not too spicy, but enough to remember they're on the burger.

The hand-cut and fried pieces of our meal really had me wondering how other fried options tasted.

The fries that came with the plate were good. It’s unusual for Alyssa and I to agree on fries, but in this case we did. I prefer thin, crunchy fries. She disagrees and loves steak fries. These presented a happy medium with a nice crunch but plenty of potato flavor.

Allyssa landed on the turkey Italiano in part for the roasted red peppers, one of her favorite foods. They were lost in the panini, though. The turkey and provolone dominated most bites with the bacon and peppers disappearing.

It surprised us considering how much we enjoyed the pickles to start the meal.

We waited quite a while after requesting the check. As time inched closer to Astros, Red Sox, the place really began to fill.

Our total before tip came to $52.56.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out previous Dine Out reviews below