It's hard not to be smitten with the décor of the new Lower Haight burger spot, Greenburger's. Floor to ceiling front windows let sunlight stream onto pale green walls dotted with planter boxes and family photos. Cool knickknacks, including a vintage working milkshake machine and the owners' old roller skates and board games, are featured behind the back counter. An antique Coca Cola cooler has been repurposed as a condiment table.
These are early days at week-old Greenburger's, so we kept it simple with a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake. The generously salted, seven-ounce oval patty in the burger ($10) was cooked well past the medium-rare we asked for, and its griddled brioche bun was a bit soggy, unable to stand up to a tangle of sautéed onions and glob of melted cheddar. A few more seconds in the fryer would have done wonders for the house-cut fries ($3), though a salted coffee caramel milkshake ($6), the day's special flavor, tasted as good as it sounded, even if it wasn't as think as we would have liked. Prices are high: Greenburger's uses primo local ingredients, including Five Dot Ranch beef, Bakers of Paris buns, and Straus ice cream. We ended up dropping more than $20 on lunch for one.
Still, considering the glitches attendant on newness, we'd return to Greenburger's, especially for the "Thanksgiving dinner" featuring deep-fried turkey. In time, better execution might just make the food as appealing as the space.
Greenburger's: 518 Haight (at Fillmore), 829-2491.