On the Trail with Miss Moon Pie
Story Cherri Golden
Traveling south down Mississippi Highway 45 on the outskirts of Macon, Miss., sits the Trailboss Trailer Manufacturing Company. As the name implies, they make trailers there — big ones — the kind that haul 10 to 50 tons — of whatever needs to be hauled.
This sprawling building is also the home of the Trailboss Restaurant, a popular eatery born out of the need for a break room. More than 10 years ago Trailboss owner Mike Banks provided a comfortable space in which his employees could eat lunch and take a break from the rigors of trailer building. Word spread, and friends and neighbors started dropping by at lunchtime to partake of the bountiful homestyle Southern cuisine being served. Time passed and the area’s two “sit-down” restaurants closed their doors, leaving only fast food options for many miles.
That is when the Trailboss Restaurant was born and quickly filled the vacant dining niche with community locals and people from the surrounding areas.
Monday through Friday breakfast and lunch are served. The restaurant is open on Friday nights with specials on steak, prime rib and seafood. Sunday lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Late one Friday afternoon Miss Moon Pie and her darling sister, Crab Puff, hopped in the car and headed out for Steak Night. We had done our homework and had learned that Trailboss has a Facebook page listing its daily menu, so we knew that this particular Friday night’s featured steak would be something called “Summer Steak” — delicate thin-sliced rib-eyes marinated in a secret sauce and grilled to our desired doneness. Tossed salads and potatoes, baked or French-fried, accompanied these tasty steaks. By the time we finished our meal the restaurant had begun to fill with patrons, and it was clear that soon there would be a line forming to get in. I suggested to Mr. Banks that he could make a pile of money if he added a room with recliners and rented them by the hour for little après-meal naps. He offered the use of a walking track out back. Um … not quite what I had in mind.
A couple of weeks later we returned for Sunday lunch. The offerings were impressive — a choice of four meats, three salads, seven vegetable/side dishes and six desserts. My baked pork chop was so tender that no knife was necessary. Sister and I both instantly became fans of the cottage-fried Parmesan potatoes and a corn casserole that was almost a soufflé.
We forced ourselves to move on to dessert of caramel cake, peanut pie and a taste of bread pudding. After this feast of Southern goodness, we sat watching the dining room fill with the after-church crowd while we chatted with Mr. Banks and his charming wife, Terri.
As we were about to leave Mike said, “Let me show you something.” We followed him through a hallway into the trailer business. There in the lobby was a beautiful, massive bed frame, end tables, and chests that all appeared to be at least 100 years old. We were looking at Mike’s newest endeavor — Southern Grand furniture, made on the premises.
After our tour, we got in our car and followed Mike’s car down a road to a place he calls “Easy Street.” The entire house is decorated with western memorabilia. The kitchen island and dining counter have old ranch brands burned into the surfaces. Photos of stars of western TV shows filled the walls. A particularly interesting item on display is the “Mare’s Leg” gun and holster worn by Steve McQueen’s character, Josh Randall of “Wanted Dead or Alive.” Josh Randall was one of Miss Moon Pie’s earliest adolescent crushes.
In this sea of masculinity, I happened to notice a delicate wine and black beaded purse displayed in a fine frame. Mike removed the frame from the wall and showed me the back, which detailed that this was a purse carried by Miss Kitty Russell in a 1959 episode of “Gunsmoke.”
Miss Moon Pie suggests that you saddle up and mosey on down the road to Trailboss Restaurant. I’ll be back there soon … there is a slab of prime rib with my name on it.
Trailboss Restaurant, 15560 Highway 45 in Macon. Visit them on Facebook to see their daily menus and hours, or just give ’em a call at 662-726-5666.