This week, the Chronicle’s Brandon Watson treks to Dripping Springs to sample the wares at Proof & Cooper. After an apparently treacherous drive, he arrives to find himself quickly seduced by welcoming staff and ranch dressing that he reckons will inspire "mass emigration from Hidden Valley."
Watson appreciates the attention to detail in chef Russell Dougherty’s simple, down-home food, from the deviled eggs to the fried chicken. It wasn’t all bread and roses, though; the critic describes tepid chili on the Frito pie, soggy buns on his burger, and some dishes wanting salt. The cocktail menu, though, he finds flawless:
The Ricky Bobby ($9) sounded pleasantly trashy (it's a shandy made from Budweiser and Deep Eddy Lemon) but tastes a lot more adult than it sounds. The Old Texan ($10) is usually made with plum-infused Dickel Rye, but for seasonality that was replaced with blackberry and pear. That, and the Jack Rudy grenadine, gave it plenty of sugar, normally something I don't want, but Angostura bitters and fresh mint didn't allow for treacle, and the Champagne topper felt celebratory. I would challenge you to find a better cocktail in the entire Hill Country.
THE BLOGS: Foodie Is the New Forty digs the steak frites at Josephine House, South Austin Foodie goes crazy for crepes, Melody Fury finds pleasure in the details at the Carillon, and Fed Man Walking bowls a strike in his 100 Burgers quest at Lebowski’s Grill.