“We specialize in simple but gourmet foods that delivers flavors and uniqueness,” Dillard said.
He told Dayton.com his top seller is the buddha bowl featuring your choice of protein (chicken, steak, shrimp or salmon), rice, mixed vegetables (onions, mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, zucchini) and fried egg. The bowl is topped off with his specialty made Yum Yum sauce.
Dillard said the recipe is top secret and that is what sets his meals a part. He explained customers come just for the sauce.
Everything at The Munchin’ Buddha is fresh and cooked to order, Dillard said.
The Munchin’ Buddha has been operating out of 100 N. James H. McGee Blvd. in Dayton for about a year and a half. Dillard explained he started cooking out of his home three years ago.
He said there was a point where he had $150 to his name, so he decided to buy a bag of rice, chicken and ingredients to make his specialty sauce. After selling a couple of dinners, his fan base grew. He said he really got his boost after participating in a food truck rally hosted by Tae Winston.
Dillard is from Dayton and graduated from Trotwood-Madison High School. After graduating, he worked at several restaurants across the Miami Valley including Company 7 BBQ, Dark Horse Tavern, Greek Street and Whole Foods Market to advance his culinary skills.
He said he knew cooking was his passion when he got up every morning wanting to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner for his family.
“If I can get up every day and cook with a smile on my face, be happy and enjoy that moment, as far as like preparing a dish, that’s my passion,” Dillard said.
Another part of his business he is passionate about is collaborating with other local chefs. Dillard explained he allows other food-based vendors to set up shop and get exposure from his customer base.
He said he not only loves his customers but the atmosphere and environment he has created.
Dillard said he has a food truck he plans to use next summer and hopes to expand his menu in the future. He also hopes to create a new restaurant concept.
The Munchin’ Buddha is open 1:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Friday for pickup or dine-in. The restaurant shares the space with Taste of Jamaica, a restaurant featuring authentic Jamaican cuisine.
For more information on The Munchin’ Buddha, visit the restaurant’s Facebook page or the owner’s Facebook page.