Driving down Old Ranch Road 12 from San Marcos to Dripping Springs is one of the most scenic routes through the Hill Country. Recently, I decided to drive to the very end of the road and what I found there was like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow except much, much better.

Proof & Cooper sits where Old Ranch Road 12 meets Hamilton Pool Road. Note: If you haven’t heard of Hamilton Pool, stop what you’re doing and go look it up. You’re welcome.

The Hill Country style building and patio immediately feels natural to the setting. With various draft beer options and an innovative menu of house cocktails, there is a drink here for any person’s palate. I recommend the Ma-Ja-Rita, a take on a margarita with mango and fresh jalapenos. Take your drink to the back patio on a nice day and enjoy the view of the Texas Hill Country.

drink menu

If the Ma-Ja-Rita isn’t enough for you, well then you are in luck my friends. Proof & Cooper has a limited but wide ranging food menu. While I could rhapsodize about the shishito peppers, the gravy tots, and the chicken ‘n’ biscuit (oh boy, could I rhapsodize about that) I want to focus on the hamburger.

A delectable, extremely flavorful, makes-me-hungry- just-thinking- about-it hamburger.

Proof & Cooper offers 6 specialty burgers and one classic that they’ve named the “Plain Jane.” While the Plain Jane is no frills, it is a good ol’ fashioned American hamburger that hits every imaginable spot and even though the specialty burgers sounded divine, I’m an old fashioned gal. Luckily, I had some friends with me on this particular day so I got to have my Plain Jane and a bite of the pimento cheese and spicy mayo covered Picnic Burger. (Thanks Chris!) I’m usually not much of a pimento cheese lady but I wanted to start a fan club after eating the Picnic Burger. It’s that good y’all. Each burger comes with tator tots and these are some TOTS y’all. The perfect balance of crispy and crunchy, these tots will make you forget all about French fries.

Proof & Cooper is one of those hidden gems of the Hill Country that you can’t afford to miss. It may not be on a highlight list but hey, the secret, low-key places are sometimes the very best. Due to the long, and winding road that is Old Ranch Road 12 you can easily make a day out of a visit to Proof & Cooper. In fact, go visit Hamilton Pool and then stop in for a burger and a Ma-Ja-Rita on Proof & Cooper’s back porch. Who knows, maybe I’ll see you there!