My first Welsh rarebit, prepared with classmates from school-bought ingredients, back in junior high, consisted of little more than bland cheese melted on white bread.
The bartender at this Welsh-owned establishment did warn that Long Bow's rendition ($6.50, plus $2 for bacon) has a spicy kick, but I took him too lightly, till I tucked in. Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces, pepper, aged cheddar, and beer combine for a forthright flavor; broad slices of toasted country bread are extra, extra-absorbent, whatever your poison (coffee for me, early pints for my fellow footie fans). The bacon, added at the bartender's recommendation, adds an essential and restorative dose of fat.
Back in junior high, I doubt that a timely application of commercial "bacon bits" could have salvaged our school project. It might, however, have inspired me to seek out a second, proper Welsh rarebit much sooner than now.
Long Bow Pub & Pantry
7316 Third Ave. (73rd-74th Sts.), Bay Ridge, Brooklyn