Ballard's Ocho tapas bar, known for tempting diners with anchovy bites during happy hour, also offers a heavenly deviled egg.

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HAPPY HOUR |

It should be noted that Ocho has accomplished something of a minor culinary miracle, achieving a feat that has eluded many accomplished chefs in Seattle: getting folks to eat anchovies.

They’re a best-seller here and now one of the featured happy-hour bites.

Not everyone loves anchovies. But you wouldn’t know that from sitting at Ocho’s bar, where college students and late-night bar-hoppers gobble up anchovies like they were chicken wings.

At this Ballard tapas bar, the brininess of the anchovies gets softened with layers of roasted red peppers and a battered, fried artichoke heart — a mingling of salty, sweet and sour, served on a toothpick skewer.

But that doesn’t mean owner Zach Harjo wants to spend this culinary life trying to convert the masses to some small, silver fish.

Eggs are trendy bar food now, and Harjo goes that route. A rich, fried duck egg served with crostini. A flavorful deviled egg, maybe one of the best in the city, topped with fried capers, pickled onions, salmon roe and dill. (The ubiquitous Tortilla Española, though, was drowning in salt.)

The $2 happy-hour tapas menu is also offered during the day on weekends. Makes for a splendid break when you stroll through the Sunday Ballard market nearby.

The beauty of featuring eggs on a bar menu is that one man’s happy hour is another man’s brunch. And of course at Ocho, anchovies are popular at all hours.

Ocho, 2325 N.W. Market St., offers $2 happy-hour bites and $2 off on house cocktails 4-6 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and noon-6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays (206-784-0699; www.ochoballard.com).

Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or tvinh@seattletimes.com