It hasn't always been easy to find good, cheap Mexican food in Seattle. For every Burrito Loco (9211 Holman Rd NW), there are, like, 96 Aztecas (look to your left). But in the last few years, a veritable convoy of run-down trucks, buses, and RVs has been rolling into lots around the city, serving up quick, cheap, and mouth-wateringly greasy Mexican street food.

Taco trucks can be a bit intimidating for the uninitiated. Some trucks do things better than others; some don't do anything well at all. After writing a few nasty things about Wallingford's Rancho Bravo taco truck on The Stranger's blog, I caught plenty of flack from alleged taco connoisseurs in the area, who are insanely protective of their neighborhood taco truck. In the interests of fairness, I decided to revisit Rancho Bravo and a few other taco trucks to see if I could find Seattle's one true taco king.

I'd never even been to a taco truck until a few years ago, when a friend dragged me to Taqueria la Pasadita (2143 Northgate Way, cash only). Tucked back in the parking lot of a gas station near Northgate mall, Pasadita quickly became my fallback on nights I was too tired or lazy to cook. The food was cheap and consistent and it didn't hurt that it was only a few miles from my apartment. However, my visits over the last few months have become less frequent, as there's been a distinct and disappointing decline in quality.

On a recent visit, all three tacos I ordered ($1.20 each)—beef, pork, or chicken, double wrapped in small corn tortillas—were bland and dry, and had to be rescued with accompanying radishes and pickled peppers. A heavy, gelatinous layer of beans overpowered a spicy pork burrito ($4.90)—meat, rice, and beans in a flour tortilla—that was easily as big as my forearm. Still, Pasadita does have one bright spot: its kick-ass tamales. Three bucks gets you a moist cornmeal shell, stuffed with meat (pork or chicken) and topped with queso fresco, lettuce, and tomato. Bonus: If you get your order to go, you can also wander over to the nearby gas station and pick up a 22-ounce can of Tecate or a bottle of Pacifico (both $2.99) to go with your meal.

Because of Pasadita's recent slump, Rancho Bravo (211 NE 45th St, cash only) is no longer my least favorite taco truck in Seattle. I'd visited Rancho Bravo several times over the last year and never been very impressed. On more than one visit, my burrito was cold and limp, filled with mealy, overcooked pork; the tacos were unappealingly greasy and completely underwhelming. Much to my surprise, Rancho Bravo's food has improved of late, but it's still far from perfect.

Rancho Bravo's tacos, while more expensive than other trucks ($1.75, pork, beef, or chicken), do pile on the meat. My tacos, while swimming in a pool of red grease, were hefty and plump with deliciously spicy, perfectly cooked pork with a tangy vinegar kick. The accompanying cilantro, onion, and radish helped cut through the greasiness, but many napkins were needed to sop up the grease dripping from my tacos with each bite. A big cup of horchata ($1.25)—a sweet, rice-based drink, spiked with sugar and cinnamon—counteracted the lingering heat of the spicy pork.

I've heard that Rancho Bravo has fantastic tamales, but it's been out during every one of my visits. Instead, I ordered the torta ($4.00)—think of a Mexican banh mi sandwich—a huge French roll filled with meat, lettuce, tomato, and peppers, slathered in mayo. Unfortunately, Rancho Bravo's bread-to-filling ratio is way off, and the relatively small amount of filling didn't seem to necessitate the use of such a massive roll.

I'll admit, Rancho Bravo does, in fact, make a decent—if incredibly greasy—taco, but it just can't compete with South Seattle's Tacos El Asadero (3513 Rainier Ave S, cash only). A big silver bus in an empty parking lot on Rainier Avenue, Asadero has great food and an atmosphere to match. At just about any time of day, Asadero will be mobbed with construction workers, teenagers from nearby Franklin High School, and families with toddlers, all jockeying for a spot in the bus or at one of the nearby picnic tables. Asadero also has the best spicy pork burrito ($4.50) in town—hotter than hell, and not overpowered by rice or beans—and the tacos ($1.20) are a thing of beauty. Whether you order chicken, pork, or beef, your taco will be piled high with juicy—but not greasy—meat, perfectly seasoned and spicy, but not overpoweringly so. The cooler inside the bus is packed with bottles of delicious Mexican Coke ($1.50), made with cane sugar instead of corn syrup.

As it stands, Asadero has the closest thing in Seattle to the perfect taco. As more taco trucks pop up around the city, Asadero's greatness is bound to be challenged. But for now, its taco reigns supreme.