The Best Of Hidden Places

Jim Boutin knew he wanted to spend his life working with food after doing kitchen duty on a Boy Scout Overnight. Seeing no reason to wait until adulthood, the inspired 11-year-old marched over to the Lo Kai restaurant in Dracut and asked for a job. Interpreting “no” as a “maybe” Boutin repeated his request every day for a month until the owner relented and put him to work in the kitchen.

After a lifetime in “restaurant years,” Boutin opened Good Thymes in Lowell. With long lines common during peak hours, it’s a go-to place for popular comfort food, including the turkey dinner with all the fixings and the crumb-crusted baked haddock. Boutin goes through 2,500 pounds of his homemade mashed potatoes a week.

When asked the secret to success, Boutin says, “Just give the customers what they want.”

Recently renovated and expanded, the inside is soothingly spare and clean. Oh, and make sure you don’t miss the swankiest restrooms in the Merrimack Valley.